Mega City is a futuristic city that's filled with crime and drugs, particularly a new drug called Slow Mo, a Jet looking narcotic that dues exactly what it's name implies. In this God forgotten land the only thing that prevents it from falling apart are the Judges, the ultimate judge jury and executioner. We follow Judge Dredd, an incorruptible Judge, and a Judge candidate on a drug raid but what seemed to be a normal day of 'protect and serve' turns into something bigger.
Since its home release "Dredd" has become quite a big cult film, to the point of fans demanding a sequel, so finally I watched it and while I highly enjoyed it, it also disappointed me. "Dredd" has solid acting for an action film (props to Karl Urban for committing to this character thus not showing his face, which is quite rare for a lead actor), an eye catching visual style, competent world building for its budget, good use of violence (even though at times is not needed), action sequences that are well shot (no shaky cam nor quick edits here), a score that's hit or miss but when it does hit it is fantastic, a story that's wisely small in scale (it is not about stopping the world's end or the destruction of a city), and it is overall highly enjoyable. But despite all of its great elements, I have to say I find this film underwhelming. Peter Travis' direction is an attempt to replicate Paul Verhoeven (this film is quite similar to "Robocop", a character that was inspired by Dredd but now the pendulum has swung), the CGI is extremely bad (something that normally can be overlooked but the film keeps putting that cheap CGI up front thus making it hard to forgive), and the violence is tamed. Sure we see some graphic stuff but it is all digital, when this needed that excessive Verhoeven use of squibs (I don't know about you but I prefer makeup over CGI when it comes to violence and every time a digital squib appeared it took me out).
"Dredd" is a solid film that truly deserves its cult following. It desperately tries to imitate Verhoeven's style and while it fails at that, it does succeed in being a fantastic sci-fi action film. An extremely enjoyable and stylish action film that knows what it is/what's capable of and goes for it.