I don't think there will ever be another film like this. Dredd is the most violent, bold and bloodily entertaining movie of the year, a movie with a pure badass nature, smoothly constructed action and flawless storytelling. I went into this film expecting violence and I got it, as well as a ton of action, an insanely evil baddy and two awesome protagonists.
"America is an irradiated wasteland. 800,000,000 people living in the ruin of the old world, and the megastructures of the new one." Mega City One. Crime is at an all time high and a new drug called Slow Mo is on the streets, which allows addicts to experience time at a much slower rate. "Only one thing fighting for order in the chaos, the men and women of the Hall of Justice: Judges". After a homicide is reported, Judge Dredd responds to investigate in Peachtrees, one of the largest tower blocks in the City. Along with the help of Judge Anderson they discover it's the work of notorious gang leader Ma Ma. Soon after arriving they are trapped when the block locks down, and Ma Ma's clan are now converging on their location. Now Dredd and Anderson must fight their way to the top and put an end to Ma Ma's territorial stronghold and stop the distribution of Slow Mo.
This is a relentless siege on the senses, as the Judges ascend so does the violence, it gets bloodier and more visceral, and that's just how I like it. The action is brilliant, there's no messy editing so the camera stays with the action at all times, you are thrown into the deep end and all the close up shots of characters and small details look excellent. It has to be said that the 3D makes this film even more jaw dropping, the 3D is one of the stand out aspects, it is beautiful. The effects are mesmerising, transcendental, it genuinely feels like you are falling and experiencing part of the Slow-Mo drug effects. You can literally touch the glimmers of light and particles floating off the screen, and when the title appears it crashes into a million pieces and hits hard. Karl Urban is electrifying as Dredd, the voice is dead on and he only needs to snarl or mutter to make us chuckle. Whilst the protagonist is great, it's the antagonist played by Lena Headey who stands out. Headey has a look of insanity and madness in her eyes, the scars on her face echoes a violent past and she never raises her voice, she sends chills by saying things in a relaxed manner. She is hands down the best bad guy of the year, forget Bane and Loki, her violence is shocking and the best scene features her echoed voice projecting across the speaker system addressing Peachtrees, this is where the atmosphere kicks in and you know she is not to be messed with.
Alongside Dredd is Olivia Thirlby who is excellent as Anderson, who follows Dredd on his mission. The way she develops throughout the movie is great, she starts as a rookie with the lack of confidence to execute, but as events worsen she turns into a full-blown badass. Dredd is a knockout ninety minutes of perfectly constructed action, near perfect 3D and a fantastic cast, Dredd is one of my highest recommendations and it gets better every time you watch it. Final Score: 97%