To be brutally honest, it feels dumbed down for the kind of cinema audience who like to see ass-kickings and shit blowing up, but don't want to have to think too hard about it. As if Garland has deliberately avoided confronting the audience with the real implications of the world Dredd exists in.
Hmm, I see what you're saying, but at the end of the day all this movie has to do is establish Dredd himself - it's worth remembering that the strip didn't even start to question the morality of Dredd's actions until at least ten years into it's existence, so there's an argument that such things shouldn't be explored until film 2 or 3.
There's another point that (as I said in my previous post) Garland seems to have tweaked the setup of Dredd's world a bit to make the judges seem a bit more reasonable and sympathetic, which is fine by me - it is an adaptation
I'm sure we all have our own fantasy version of the Dredd movie we'd like to see (mine would probably be a $200m, Chris Nolan directed epic adaptation of Total War
spliced with elements of America
and deals with BIG IMPORTANT THEMES and everything) but realistically, a stripped down, high octane action movie is probably the way to go. And while us few thousand hardcore fans love all of the modern tales that are deeper and more morally ambiguous, there are hundreds of thousands
of more casual Dredd fans out there, and all they want from a Dredd movie is
to see him kick some arse.
the lack of humour bothers me as well.
There's certainly humour in there - the 10 or so pages I read had at least two or three moments that will be laugh out loud on the screen, though the humour is blacker and less overt than when Wagner is writing. I still have a concern that they might pitch the city wrong - on a related note, everyone should check out Matt Smith's intro to the Mega City Masters 01
tpb - he sums up the appeal Mega-City One perfectly
And as for those (somehow) already writing off the 'Slo-Mo' thing as a 'Bullet Time' rip-off - come off it. Garland, MacDonald and co are savvy guys - and I trust that they have in mind something a bit cooler than that.