Dredd VS The Raid

In 2012, two movies were released that while inspired by different material, proved very similar in regards to plot and location; Pete Travis’ excellent Dredd and Gareth Evans’ martial arts extravaganza, The Raid.

Both are, for lack of a better word, brilliant. They perfectly encapsulate what late night movie watching is all about; no strenuous interwoven story arcs, just pure, unadulterated, chaotic, bone-crunching fun. So which is the better film?

We hope to answer this question using a rating system out of 20, with a maximum of 5 points able to be awarded in each of the following 4 categories: Violence, setting, characters and coolness. This is not a ratings system of high intellect, but we believe it will work.

So without further ado, let us begin…

DREDD (2012)


Director – Pete Travis

Cast – Karl Urban, Rachel Wood, Olivia Thirlby

Plot (from IMDB) – In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.

“Negotiation’s over. Sentence is death.”

Violence 5/5

Yes, I’m aware that is the maximum score I can record, but such is the level of of wince-inducing, no-holes-barred graphic violence on display in this stunningly graphic action endeavor. Needless to say, this is not one to watch while digging into a meat-lovers pizza.

Highlight – Three low-lifes are skinned alive and thrown off the top story of a plaza building after being injected with SLO-MO.

Setting 3.5/5

After introducing us to a nihilistic, dystopian city scape, it does almost seem a shame to spend the rest of the running time in a plain shopping plaza/apartment block. Although, then Ma-Ma flicks the switch and we see exactly what his building is capable of.

Highlight – A homeless man refuses to budge when ordered to, and gets squashed by concrete shutter.

Characters 4.5/5

Dredd is played to perfection by a Rorschach-like Karl Urban, and Ma-Ma is a terrific villain, though the rest of the characters perhaps bar Rookie do leave a tiny bit of room for improvement. The technology expert with artificial eyes is certainly another worth noting.

Highlight – Psychic Rookie gets into the head of her thug prisoner and gives him a taste of his own medicine.

Coolness 4.5/5

Comic books/graphic novels have now become the coolest material for filmmakers to source from, and as far as I’m concerned Dredd ranks right up there with Iron Man and Kick-Ass… though some might argue against that.

Highlight – Dredd finds an intercom and announces the following to a building full of crazed murderers:

“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. Ma-Ma is a common criminal; guilty of murder, guilty of the manufacture and distribution of the narcotic known as SLO-MO, and as of now under sentence of death. Any who obstruct me in carrying out my duty will be treated as an accessory to her crimes… you have been warned. And as for you Ma-Ma… judgement time.”

Overall Rating – 17.5/20 (according to Jordan)

THE RAID (2012)


Director – Gareth Evans

Cast – Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Johannes Taslim

Plot (from IMDB) – A SWAT team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs.

“Pulling a trigger is like ordering takeout.”

Violence 5/5

The violence featured in The Raid is frenetic and realistic. The style in which it occurs and unique way in which it assaults the viewer makes Evan’s film a complete violent masterpiece, unlike anything an unsuspecting cinema goer could’ve born witness to previously.

Highlight – Rama’s use of a broken door to finish off one of his attackers.

Setting 4/5

The use of a dank, rundown apartment complex gives The Raid a gritty and relatable setting. Not once is the viewer made to feel claustrophobic or bored by the setting with the characters either running up or smashing down the levels of the complex.

Highlight – The “meat room” where Mad Dog does his best work.

Characters 4/5

All the action in the world would not of been worth it if the film’s characters didn’t offer something for the viewer to grab a hold of. Thankfully, Evan’s has created a strong central figure in Rama and a vast array of great on screen villains lead by Mad Dog and kingpin Jaka.

Highlight – Mad Dog. The long haired, skinny little man sure can pack a wallop!

Coolness 5/5

Coolness is something The Raid has in spades! From Evan’s fast paced direction t0 the staging of the fight scenes and the way in which Rama can use anything to take out his enemies. It has wise cracks, it has a soundtrack by a member of Linkin Park, it has all you want from an action film. The Raid really is about as cool as they come in the realm of action extravaganzas… a night in with the lads can’t go wrong with The Raid on and the volume cranked.

Highlight – The slow-mo shotgun scene that sets off a shootout in the dark like no other.

Overall Rating – 18/20 (according to Eddie)

So… I guess it’s decided. Both are awesome films, but The Raid happens to be just that little bit more awesome.






43 responses to “Dredd VS The Raid

  1. Since I don’t have to rate them with numbers, I’ll just say they’re both bad ass. I dunno, I think I’d be totally okay with eating a meat-lovers pizza during either of these.

    Agreed about the door jam bit…jesus, that is brutal.

  2. The raid > any chuck norris film > most other action films > dredd

    Dredd seriously wasnt that good

  3. Fuckin-a, both these movies were dope and brutal and AWESOME. Both villains were deliciously sinister, super delightful to hear them murmur over the intercom. Would watch the sparkly Slomo scenes over and over again.

    • Yeah realism was certainly more with the Raid than Dredd! Still, the Slo Mo in Dredd, especially that super gory scene near the beginning, was handled quite remarkably in my opinion. In short, I love both too, ha.

  4. I have a hard time choosing between these flicks. I love both of them. I give the slightest edged to Dredd. Mainly because MA Ma was a more memorable villain. The action scenes in The Raid were a lot better though. Great post

  5. I love the Dredd movie so much I want to marry it. For me, it completely nailed what I wanted a Dredd movie to look like and to feel like. The Raid is also an absolutely fantastic action flick. The only thing that holds me back on it – and this is a very tiny nitpick – is that it suffers from Dropped Weapon syndrome. Hey, man! You know how you just won that fight with a big combat knife? How’s about you KEEP THE KNIFE.

    • Man I love it, both films are crackers! Truly the Raid 2 looks amazing and I hope deeply that a Dredd 2 can be made one day as it did nail the whole vibe of the comics.

  6. Rewatched Dredd the other night, but in 3D this time. Not a big fan of 3D but it worked well in Dredd. Dredd itself still holds up so well, I am convinced that in five, ten years time it will be a big cult movie and people won’t believe it failed to get an audience or a sequel. I like The Raid but I LOVE Dredd.

  7. Have to say, The Raid was awesome. I loved it all the way through. At some point I want to write about it too, but not after I’ve read your really good review. Nice article

  8. I loved Dredd–a vastly better version than the PoS Stallone version. I had only one real complaint, which is that without the humor of the source material, the fascist nature of Mega-City 1 gets to be rather wearying.

  9. Two films for different audiences. Those looking for the martial arts have Raid. Those looking for 80’s-inspired gunplay have Dredd.

    • Good point mate – very similar setting and overall feel though. let’s hope one day we can see a Dredd sequel as good as the Raids follow-up.

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