Appropriate Violence

… I’m clearly not great at keeping track of time. This is the make-up post for last night’s. 

As I write this now, I’m listening to the soundtrack of Dredd, a recent movie adaptation of the Judge Dredd comic series. I didn’t watch it because I’m a huge fan of the comic or anything — in fact, I didn’t know it even existed until I looked up a Best of Netflix list*. The description endeared me to the movie because I was looking for something non-existential and flash-bang-y. 

A friend, when I mentioned I’d watched Dredd, expressed mild surprise that I liked it, and then we started discussing mindless violence vs. what Dredd does. I’m not sure what even counts as mindless violence anymore — KIll Bill was one example we discussed — but if you’re making a violent movie, I assume you’re going to stick some in. 

Maybe the point was that it was a good-cop movie, not a violent movie. It was violent, sure, and fairly gory, but still totally enjoyable. The bad guys die in the end, with a taste of their own medicine, and the good guys get to walk out looking victorious. 

I find it odd to admit, but the cinematography of the violence was what made this less hideous than it could have been. It wasn’t so much “oh look we’ll just sling a bucket of fake blood around this set”, as “here, this angle gives me a really cool impact shot”. The scenes are full of slow motion bullets tearing through perps’ cheeks, blood sailing through the air, glass and wood and concrete splintering. Basically people being killed, sometimes gleefully. 

Should I be finding this sort of well-orchestrated pain admirable? Isn’t this exactly the kind of thing I was ambivalent about in a previous blog post? 

Maybe the difference is that this is very definitely fiction. Or maybe I’m just good at letting myself off the hook.

By the way, if you’re into action movies (and are above, I dunno, fifteen), Dredd really isn’t too bad. As an added bonus, the soundtrack is great for running to. 


*What can I say? My Friday nights are stupendously exciting

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