Those seeking a complex narrative driven by maskless characters will not find it in what is, on the face of things, a relatively simple tower action flick. But Dredd is particularly enjoyable – not quite “original” (a tenuous concept moviegoers seem obsessed with these days) but regularly built around an inventiveness borne out of limitation. The sometimes garish quirks of cinema are contextually justified, not the “Let’s just stick a GoPro on something” approach that even the popular Breaking Bad has been guilty of many, many times.
But where this adaptation of the 2000AD comic really stands out is in its unified representation of the city. We are introduced to the modernist nightmare of Mega-City One at the same time as the concept of Judges – the effective police state implicitly linked to the rise of criminality within the oppressive slums. What the film is, then, is the interaction between archetypes within a physical arena; manifestations of the city which is arguably the true protagonist. With a cool soundtrack.