This film has just stopped playing at the Savoy, which is a shame, because it’s really good. I caught it a few days ago and it’s really surprisingly good, and better for being in 3D. Too many action movies have the conceit of being about major issues or trying to be funny. This is just a simple, comprehensible slaughter of bad guys. They pay attention to the details, like slow motion blood spray, and ignore the broader nonsense that makes most action movies so dull.
The Savoy 3D Cinema is, in itself, a wonder. Sri Lankan cinemas are generally worse than a decent home theatre system. This one is different. We went on one of the last days the film was showing, so the place was empty and you could look around. It’s beautiful. All ethereal blues and LED pinks. The screen and sound are, I think, the best in Sri Lanka and as good as what I’ve seen in India. It’s not huge like an IMAX or anything, but the quality is amazing.
I don’t normally like 3D (it’s dark and kinda useless for most films) but Dredd used it very intelligently in well. In the film people are taking a drug called slow-mo, which slows stuff done, making for some amazing shots – just water droplets, glass shattering, they really dwell on moments of beauty (or beautiful horror) making full use of the 3D.
The other thing about the cinema is the sound. Here they’ve paid attention and, while it doesn’t quite feel like surround sound, it sounds good, the basses and quality are there. Really a good cinema, despite the typically gormless staff. But I digress, you can find a fuller review of the place on YAMU.
Back to the film. It’s just a shoot-em-up. Almost like a video game, Dredd has a gun which switches between ammunition and they’re quite literally proceeding up levels. But it’s a satisfying watch in that it never tries to be anything more than it is. Even Iron Man and Avengers have pretensions to be saving the world when in fact it’s just a few people fighting and destroying stuff in the process. This behavior is all anti-social and dodgy and Dredd has no pretensions here. The world he inhabits is not particularly better than when he left it, he’s just a workman doing his job. It’s a pleasure to watch.
The next film playing at the Savoy is Rise Of The Guardians, an animated film with Santa Claus and Jack Frost and the Tooth Fairy and all. It’s a great cinema, so should be worth checking out.