Karl Urban gets mean in new ‘Dredd’ trailer

Are you ready for judgement?

“Judge Dredd” fans are hoping that the upcoming “Dredd” — with “Star Trek” and “Lord of the Rings”  vet Karl Urban as the titular Judge — will do more justice to the character’s graphic roots than 1995’s dismal action-comedy “Judge Dredd.” The brand new trailer is a good indicator of what we can expect from the gritty re-boot. 

In the futuristic Mega City One, heavily-armed urban cops called “Judges” act as judge, jury and on-the-spot executioners. Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate Judge, bent on ridding the streets of a new killer drug known as “Slo-Mo.”

To that end, Dredd and his rookie partner (a foxy Olivia Thirlby) assault a 200-story skyscraper run by drug lord Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) and her vicious army. It’s a set-up reminiscent of this year’s Indonesian action flick “The Raid,” but with more great big 3D CG effects and less bone-snapping martial arts. 

Watch the official trailer here.

The trailer starts with the inevitable “Blade Runner”-esque visuals of dense urban squalor that honor “Dredd’s” comic book roots in the long-running “2000 A.D.” series (the character was created by John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra). After introducing “Slo-Mo,” the trailer turns into action territory that, at the very least, looks more exciting that Sylvester Stallone’s irritating 1995 film version (plus, no Rob Schneider!).

Urban looks sufficiently stoic (will his helmet ever be removed?) and equally bad-ass. Unsurprisingly, his reading of the line “I am the law!” is much more subdued than Sly’s. Thirlby doesn’t have much to do in the clip, but “Game of Thrones'” Headey appears to be having fun as a bloodthirsty Godmother with a scarred face.

Written by Alex Garland (“28 Days Later”) and directed Pete Travis (“Vantage Point”), the 3D “Dredd” opens in 3D September 21.