I can't tell you how pleased I am to write a review about a movie that I was sure to fail and was pleasantly surprised that it didn't. Doing research on this film I saw the original Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stallone. It was a travesty. It was very VERY loosely based on the graphic novel and removed all the mystique and grit from the iconic inked character. This movie felt like it was made by people who honored the source material. Dredd is a badass. Plain and simple. The Law is his guide and compass. So much so that when he says "I am the Law", you believe it. Karl Urban understood how Dredd needed to be portrayed on screen and he did it very well. The helmet was never removed and he was all about business. Getting called to a triple homicide inside the massive structure known as Peach Trees, he and his psychic trainee become locked in a fierce battle for survival against Ma-Ma and her gang which have effectively taken over all 200 levels of this complex. Lena Heady does a fantastic job playing the merciless Ma-Ma, who control the distribution and manufacturing of a drug known as Slo-mo; a drug which makes the brain see things 1/100th of the speed they are actually in.
Gritty shootouts and stylized fight scenes made this movie worth every penny. I don't want to spoil anything for you but I will say this: THIS MOVIE IS NOT A RIPOFF OF "THE RAID" OR "THE RAID: REDEMPTION". A lot of people thought that the concept of Dredd was ripped off from The Raid: Redemption, while in reality, the screenplay for Dredd was written before Raid was conceived. I am really hoping that they extend this into a trilogy, and if the feedback on the movie is positive enough, rumor has it that they will consider doing a sequel based on the origins on Dredd and a third movie to wrap up the arc.