Friday, January 18, 2013

Finding a way into a story

I watched Dredd recently. (I do love schlocky thrillers) and it was way better than I expected and a pretty simple story.

Anyone who remembers that terrible Judge Dredd movie with Sylvester Stallone knows how badly the violent comic can be mismanaged into something so terribly, terribly wrong.

But Dredd is a relatively small movie, which got half decent reviews, all of which mentioned the over the top violence (so please don't watch if you're squeamish)

What I liked about it was it over performed to my expectations, the story was simple, but straightforward and the performances were half decent. And they made smart story telling decisions. For those of you that are not familiar with Judge Dredd, he's one of a small group of police/judges in a futuristic America, sort of a sheriff, with the authority to both determine and undertake sentencing of lawbreakers on the spot.

So the movie introduces a new world, and a new system of policing and they do this, by using the rookie judge  to explain it all, without really having the so you know Bob conversation. And it allows the movie to keep the Judge Dredd character mysterious, so much so we never see him without his helmet on, so we never see his full face. It's a clever move, because it keeps the aura of unpredictability to his character, but also can make him larger than life, because we see him through another's eyes.

so we have the rookie who is the the hero and struggling through an impossible situation and we have Dredd who is also heroic, but in a different way. One character is rooted very much in her vulnerability and one who appears invulnerable. And then the story gets to play with twisting that around. Seriously clever.

And the villain is a woman really well played by Lena Headly, so all in all a really good, gorey thriller.


Eileen said...

I may pass because I seem to be more and more squeamish these days, but I like the set up you're describing. It's something to think about it and I can always use another way to introduce big chunks of information!

Molly O'Keefe said...

this feels like a new depth to your action movie madness, Sinead. I've followed you a lot of places - but I'm going to have to say no. And maybe doubt your sanity.

Maureen McGowan said...

Oh, I really need to see this movie. Not only because my agent thinks my next book's cover should be modeled on the poster for this movie (my publisher did not agree...) but because I've been thinking about telling a story through someone's POV other than the protagonist...

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