If you were thrilled by Gareth Evans’s bone-crunching action romp The Raid back in May, then Pete Travis’s ultra-violent reboot of the 2000AD comic Judge Dredd will induce uneasy feelings of deja vu.
The dramatic set-up – a tower block siege, which can only be resolved by the gung-ho hero working his way to a kingpin’s lair on the top floor – appears to be almost identical.
So too is the script’s insatiable blood lust.
However, while The Raid orchestrated breathtakingly balletic fight sequences that were beautiful in their barbarity, Dredd takes a high-velocity gun to the heads of its nameless victims and splatters their brains across the camera lens.
Travis lingers on the carnage with the introduction of a designer drug called Slo-Mo, which – as the name suggests – reduces the speed of skirmishes to a crawl a la “bullet time” in The Matrix, allowing us to see the trajectory of bullets as they scythe through flesh and explode internal organs with sickening fury.
It’s a blessed far cry from Danny Cannon’s ill-fated, cartoonish 1995 foray into this dystopian future with a chisel-jawed Sylvester Stallone in the title role. Special effects are solid and Travis acknowledges the 3D by throwing debris and severed limbs at the screen at regular intervals.
Hardcore fans should enjoy the rush.