Dredd Kicks Off Comic-Con

Empire's reaction to the 2000AD reboot

Borag Thungg, readers! Comic-Con - AKA Cannes for geeks - kicked off here in San Diego tonight, and the main event was undoubtedly the first public screening of Dredd, the latest attempt to bring 2000AD's supercop to the big screen.

Empire was there, along with hundreds of braying geeks, and we're delighted to say that it's a solid, often excellent adaptation, and not at all Dreddful. Sorry, had to do it.

Karl Urban is excellent as the grizzled gunslinger (and yes, the helmet stays on throughout, which will please fans of the comic no end), growling his lines like a man who's just gritted his driveway using only his teeth, and the ultra-violence (which, in a way, may please fans while damaging its commercial chances) is presented stylishly.

It has problems: it's bound to suffer comparisons to The Raid, with which it shares a basic plot (Dredd, like Iko Uwais, is a supercop trapped in a high-rise full of reprobates; the only way out is to fight his way out) but has little of the invention or pulsating pace of that movie's fight scenes. It has a significantly smaller budget than the rest of this year's comic book movie crop, and at times it shows. But it's worth seeing for Urban alone, who erases any memories of the awful Sly Stallone vehicle from 1995.

For a full review of Dredd, stay tuned to Empire Online. And for more coverage of Comic-Con, do the same - and follow us on Twitter where we'll bring you regular updates from tomorrow, starting with the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt 2 and Expendables 2 panels, to name but two.