Sunday, 17 May 2015

COMPETING FILM SHOWDOWN - The Raid: Redemption vs Dredd

Looking at film.  Sometimes two very similar films come out close together, see which one is better...

2012:  Law Enforcement Raid Showdown

The Raid: Redemption was a 2011 Indonesian film release in most countries in 2012. the same time as the film Dredd, based on the comic book character Judge Dredd.

Why did it happen?

Because The Raid was released first many people immediately assume that Dredd ripped it off.  Dredd was announced in 2008 and the complete script was leaked online in 2010.  Production began in November 2010 went for 13 weeks and was followed by a long period of post-production.  The Raid: Redemption began was an attempt to follow up the 2009 film Merantau with a film called Berandal. After a year and a half it was discovered that Berandal would be too complex and time consuming instead created a smaller simpler film Serbuan Maut (The Raid: Redemption). Filming began in March 2011.  The plot is a simple and cost effective one which isn't new and both films used to keep costs down and create tension.  It seems mostly to be a coincidence, but one that hurt Dredd's reception.  [Dredd was previously as part of "Recommend to Me"]

Round 1


"Judge Dredd - *the* Judge Dredd - finally gets on the wrong end of a gun and all he says is, "Wait." You know what? I expected more from you." ~ Judge Lex, Dredd.

  • The Raid: Redemption - While "The Raid" is a strong descriptive - if overused and generic - title, the addition of the sub-title "Redemption"weakens it.
  • Dredd - A strong title and getting away from linking to the previous adaptation Judge Dredd (1995).  Somewhat weakened as it is often promoted as Dredd 3D.


Round 2


"This man has become something of a legend in the underworld.  Pushers, gangs, killers, they all respect him like a god.  For the past 10 years his building has been a no-go zone for police.  I don't care how big he is or who is behind him, he must be stopped." ~ Rama, The Raid Redemption.

  • The Raid: Redemption - A twenty man SWAT team is sent into a run-down apartment block to capture the criminal who owns and runs it.  When the alarm is raised the squad members must fight to survive, while certain member further their own agendas.
  • Dredd - A future cop and his telepathic rookie enter a giant "Megablock" apartment complex to find a murderer.  Upon capturing the suspect the criminal who controls the block locks it down, leaving the pair to fight an entire block out the get them.


Round 3


"In case you people have forgotten, this block operates under the same rules as the rest of the city. Ma-Ma is not the law... I am the law." ~ Judge Dredd, Dredd.
  • The Raid: Redemption - A lot of fairly generic characters.  Some good villains but that's about it.  Non-stop action gets in the way of character development.
  • Dredd - A few interesting characters, both heroes and villains.  Even the emotionless Dredd - a character type that's often dull or annoying - is done well.


Round 4


"Welcome to the inside of your head. It's kind of empty in here." ~ Judge Anderson, Dredd.

  • The Raid: Redemption - A couple of poor actors spoil the film, being Indonesia there are no names very big in the rest of the world.
  • Dredd - All serviceable actors, some names and some just before they got fame.


Round 5


"I was wondering when you'd remember you forgot your helmet." ~ Judge Dredd.
"Sir, a helmet can interfere with my psychic abilities." ~ Judge Anderson.
"Think a bullet in the head might interfere with them more." ~ Judge Dredd. Dredd.
  • The Raid: Redemption - Small budget, current era film, no major need for effects.  Replica weapons were used a muzzle fire and shells were added digitally.  Some slow motion for effect and some good gore.
  • Dredd - Set in the future with high tech weapons and equipment.  Lots of effects, some good, some bad.  Over-use of slow motion effects and gore.  There's a story reason for it but it wears out its welcome.


Round 6


"Go to work and have a fun." ~ Tama, The Raid Redemption.
  • The Raid: Redemption - Over the top martial arts and gunfire.
  • Dredd - Even bigger gunfire and explosions.


Round 7


"Pulling a trigger is like ordering a takeout." ~ Mad Dog, The Raid Redemption.
  • The Raid: Redemption - The film is able to maintain the tension throughout, and although the hero is clear, his survival is not.
  • Dredd - Tense, however, Judges Dredd is a comic book hero and there is no doubt of his or Judge Anderson's survival against incredible odds.


Round 8


"What's the price of a Judge these days?" ~ Judge Dredd, Dredd.
  • The Raid: Redemption - A tiny budget but the film doesn't suffer for it.  It's obvious that some of the choices - setting, lack of location shoots, etc - are made to reduce the budget but it doesn't really affect the viewer's enjoyment.
  • Dredd - A larger budget - but still small for this type of films - and it's poorly distributed.  The choice of setting hides some of the problems, but they do choose to start the film with an outside chase scene that looks cheap.  Most of the effects look great (if overused) but it sometimes feels like they drained all the money that could have gone into costumes, etc.


Round 9


"You got any last words, bitch?" ~ Kay.
"That's funny. I was gonna ask you that. Bitch." ~ Judge Anderson, Dredd.

Bechdel Test

  • The Raid: Redemption - Umm, there was the pregnant wife in the beginning.  Fail.
  • Dredd - Ma-Ma and Judge Kaplan have a brief discussion about Kaplan killing Anderson.  Counts but minor.  Pass.

Mako Mori Test

  • The Raid: Redemption - Umm, there was the pregnant wife in the beginning.  Fail.
  • Dredd - Anderson has more of an arc than Dredd.  Pass.


Round 10


"20 years I've been on the streets. You know what Mega City One is, Dredd? It's a fucking meat grinder. People go in one end, and meat comes out the other. All we do is turn the handle.." ~ Judge Lex, Dredd.

US Box Office


  • The Raid: Redemption - Estimated $1,100,000 budget (Worldwide boxoffice unknown, but US alone was 373%.
  • Dredd - Estimated $50,000,000 budget. (Worldwide $35,626,525, only 70% (but is said to have made its money back on DVD and Blu-ray)


Round 11


"The code to Ma-Ma's chambers is 4-9-4-3-6." ~ Judge Anderson, Dredd.



Rotten Tomatoes


Round 12


I'm not gonna be a Judge and I don't need to be a mind reader to know it
." ~ Judge Anderson, Dredd.


Round 13


"You're picturing a violent sexual liaison between the two of us in a pointless attempt to shock me." ~ Judge Anderson, Dredd.

Even if you haven't seen both films, do the survey.


  • The Raid: Redemption - 6 (5 wins, 1 tie).
  • Dredd - .7 (6 wins, 1 tie).

Both films are fun but pointless.  The Raid: Redemption is not stop martial arts action.  Dredd is an adaptation of the comic strip.  Both have strengths and flaws but beyond the premise are very different films.

Upcoming Showdown

1981:  Slasher Sequel Showdown - Friday the 13th Part 2 vs Halloween II

~ DUG.

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