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For those unfamiliar with the storyline of the classic comic book Judge Dredd, the premise is this: In a post apocalyptic/futuristic America, the entire war-torn East Coast is referred to as Mega City-One, and its streets are overrun with criminals and addicts. The lucky dogs elected to patrol and monitor the chaos are called Judges, and they serve as walking, talking judicial systems. Seriously—they’re even on-the-spot executioners if they so choose!

Yes, there was the notoriously bad 1995 version starring Sylvester Stallone. This time, however, Karl Urban (Bones in J.J. Abrams’ reboot of Star Trek, and evil dude in the black hat in Priest) stars as Judge Dredd. Dredd was co-scripted by an awesome writer (Alex Garland, who wrote 28 Days Later and the upcoming Logan’s Run reboot) and directed by a relative unknown (Pete Travis, whose limited credits include Vantage Point), so the jury’s out as to how cool this cinematic interpretation will actually be. But here’s a look at the trailer:

Here are some of our thoughts:

- Lena Headey looks crazy messed up, yo! Scarred, tattooed, and full of death threats—clearly, her character Madeline Madrigal (AKA Ma-Ma) is one Cersei Lannister might appreciate! As the kingpin (or would it be queenpin in this case?) who controls Slo-Mo, the mind-altering drug Mega City One is hooked on, Ma-Ma seems like a promising romp for the talented Headey. She definitely looks mega-scary in this.

- The wonderful and versatile actress Olivia Thirlby (best known as Juno MacGuff’s even more precious bff) plays rookie judge Cassandra Anderson, who has psychic abilities in lieu of a genetic mutation.

- Anyone else think Karl Urban sounded like Abed doing Christian Bale’s Batman? Just saying...

- The drug of choice in this, Slo-Mo (so named because time passes “at one-percent its normal speed,”) could come across as more gimmick than a gravely serious problem when considering the flick is showing in 3D. Some of these scenes look a little hokey.

- It’s never a promise of originality when the first words you see pop up on the screen are: “In the future.” But post-apocalyptic themed stories are all the rage right now, and they’re being done well, for the most part (The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games are the obvious and most recent examples)—so it could be too early to dismiss this movie. At the very least, we’re curious to see how entertaining the battle between Judge Dredd and Lena Headey turns out to be!

Dredd is slated to hit theaters September 21, 2012.

Are you psyched to see this movie, or what?!

Tags: movies, previews, trailers, books-and-comics, dredd

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About the Author
Beth Mishler

Beth Mishler is a writer, producer, and pop culture connoisseur who has a weakness for the Whedonverse and all things sci-fi. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Beth currently lives in The Plains, Ohio, where she freelances, makes documentaries, and watches a kazillion hours of TV per week while anxiously awaiting the release of George R.R. Martin's next novel.

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