Jennifer Blood and occasional Judge Dredd writer Al Ewing takes on the Dredd 3D movie:
In its ultraviolence, its clinical brutality, its stylist flourishes, its desire to be everything every other ‘comic book movie’ isn’t – apart from 3D, of course – Dredd takes its cues from 2000AD, but also from an older source – ACTION, the ‘boys paper of the seventies’.
ACTION was brought into being by Pat Mills, at the request of John Sanders, in an attempt to create a comic that was different from what was out there – grittier, more realistic, harder-hitting. (Find out more about it here.) It took the cultural touchstones of the times – Jaws, Rollerball, ‘kids apocalypse’ shows like The Changes – and distilled them down into hard punches of story and art that were the precursor to the idea of ‘thrill-power’ as we (attempt to) define it today. I’ve ended up calling it ‘the aggro style’, but it’s probably already been named by someone smarter than me.
Dredd 3D is an ‘aggro style’ film. If you were to boil it down to four or six pages, those pages wouldn’t look like an episode of Dredd as we recognise it today. It might look like one of Dredd’s first episodes, maybe – except it’d be harder, colder, R-rated.
Well, hell. Now I want to go and see the thing.