Recently, I watched Dredd and when I finished, my immediate thought was, “This movie should have been made in the 80′s.”
You see, in the 80′s, filmmakers weren’t afraid of an R rating. Fantasy movies (Conan The Barbarian, for example) were rated R. Action movies and even super hero movies (Robocop) weren’t afraid to be rated R. Sci-fi movies (Predator or Aliens) weren’t afraid to be rated R.
In the modern era of film, movie studios are very hesitant to go with an R rating. They’re too afraid of losing potential ticket sales from young people.
And today, audiences aren’t quite as receptive to it as they were in the 80′s. Maybe it’s just that this generation doesn’t embrace excess like we did back then. I don’t know. I’m not saying it’s a good thing or a bad thing. This isn’t a blog about social morality. It’s a blog about Dredd.
And Dredd belongs with those movies in the 80′s. For better or worse, it felt like one of those movies.
I firmly believe if Dredd had been released – exactly as it is today – in, say, 1987, it would be a cult classic. Audiences in the 80′s would have fallen completely in love with it. And since we’re usually much more forgiving when nostalgia is involved, modern audiences would love it as well.
But because it was released in 2012, audiences didn’t really embrace it. I guess modern audiences have just moved on from that kind of film.
But I loved it. When I watched it, I felt like I did when I watched Robocop back in the late 80′s. It’s visceral, excessive, and fun.
Speaking of Robocop, the remake of that film just released its first trailer. From the trailer, I gotta’ say, the remake looks like it might actually be good.
That said, I read they’re targeting a PG-13 rating. Of course, that rating doesn’t mean it’ll be a bad movie. There are some great PG-13 movies out there. But it does mean the remake probably won’t have the same visceral feeling of the original.
And that’s where Dredd comes in.
If you’re looking for a spiritual successor to the first Robocop movie, I think you’ll find it in Dredd.