Thoughts: Straight-up head-first balls to the wall un-PC '80s action overload. Spit and polished with a bit of extra bang for the buck. Dredd offers everything every action-starved junkie needs: brutal, unrelenting violence, awesome action set pieces, great special effects, hammy performances and chewy one-liners. Basically, it's a whole lot of "Fuck Yeah!" in 97 minutes.
Judge Dredd (the awfully under-worked Karl Urban) is one of many law enforcement officials in the future metropolis of Megacity One, tasked as Judge, Jury and Executioner. Roped into a first-day assessment of new Empath (psychic) recruit Anderson (Olivia Thirlby, oh yeah), the eponymous anti-hero is then thrust into a fight for survival through a 200 storey apartment block run by the vicious Ma-Ma (Lena Headey). Blood will be spilt.
Despite only exposing his lower jaw for the entire runtime (which, with respect to the 2000AD comics, is as it damn well should be) Karl Urban embodies the Judge with humour, cold hard will and a presence that eclipses Stallone's in the 1995 instalment. The rest of the cast does equally well, with a sense that everyone involved in the production knew exactly what to give and take with this particular production.
Alex Garland is a personal favourite author of mine, and here he provides a knowing sense of wit and intelligence behind the dumb facade of a neo-'80s actioner. There's sharp, pitch black jabs of humour, and a true viewpoint that this is nothing but violent, ridiculous entertainment, and should be treated as such, but not without thought. With that, we get an equal mix of destruction and downtime, mixed well enough together to take as a quick dose of catharsis. Basically, this is great for a fun night with the boys.
And with that, I leave my hearty recommendation, and my score.