I never saw Stallone's Judge Dredd film when I was a kid. I've always heard it's pretty awful, so I never really bothered with it. I had heard this one, though, was much more faithful to the source material. Seeing the previews, though, did not make me excited to jump on the band wagon for this, though, so I thought I'd take a chance to see if it would show up at my local dollar theater, and it did. For two bucks, I have to say, it wasn't bad. The plot is pretty simple - Karl Urban plays Dredd, a Judge in Mega City One, who, along with rookie Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), is dispatched to Peach Trees, a housing tower that is ruled by Ma Ma (Lena Headey). Ma Ma and her gang have turned Peach Trees into the central hub for the production of a new drug that will bring them incredible power and money. When they find out that Dredd and Anderson have captured a high ranking gang member, they lock down Peach Trees, and dispatch the remaining gang members to kill the two Judges. Dredd and Anderson have to fight their way up the tower to Ma Ma, to end her reign of terror.
Dredd is what it is. I feel like it borrows its style, heavily, from 80's classics like Terminator and Blade Runner, and, had Dredd been released back then, it might be a classic. Now, however, it feels like an homage that is a special effects showcase. That, in my experience, never makes for a good film. Not that Dredd was bad, it just didn't feel like anything special.