Judge Dredd is an icon of British comic books, a futuristic lawman whose politics would make Harry Callahan look like Sean Penn.
From the ashes of New York City comes Mega City One, a bustling metropolis filled with every manner of degenerate and weirdo known to man, a melting pot constantly on the verge of boiling over. Crime is so endemic in the Mega Cities that a different kind of law enforcement was needed. The Judges are granted supreme authority, legally appointed as judge, jury and (when necessary) executioner.
One of Mega City One's finest is Judge Joseph Dredd, a clone of the cities first Chief Judge, a man who lives for the law. He is the embodiment of justice and enforces it by the book - and bullet.
The source material boasts some the most unique and detailed world building in the genre but the regrettable previous film and, by the looks of this trailer, the new movies significantly tone down the heightened mania of the world. This is understandable, not everyone is going to appreciate a world where City Blocks are satirically named after celebrities and obesity is a fashion statement.
However, unlike the laughable Stallone interpretation, they look like they have finally nailed Dredd's character with Karl Urban; I hear him speak and I hear a dash of Clint Eastwood, the original inspiration for the character. Casting Lena Headey as the evil crime lord (queenpin?) is another inspired move, following her magnificent work on HBO's Game of Thrones.
The story looks like a Blade Runner-inspired remake of The Raid, which is no problem with me. The premise is rock solid and there's no reason to over-complicate things when you're attempting to reboot a franchise that flamed out so spectacularly with its first film. It looks like they have stretched every single penny of this $45 million budget and the result appears to be a admirably scaled and, at times, stylish production.
Dredd blasts his way into cinemas on 7th September 2012.