Sometimes you just want to make a kick-ass action movie without all the stupid crap people say these movies must contain in order to make money. We hate wimpy heroes, perfunctory romances and long-winded origins just as much on my side of the camera as you do at home. But for some reason they're necessary.
And here's proof: Whenever I go against the grain and do it the way it's meant to be done, no one watches the damn film and everyone loses money. Case in point: Dredd. I gave you everything you could possible want, and you assholes stayed home watching Honey Boo Boo instead. So I don't want to hear you bitching when Taken 2 comes out.
Dredd takes place in a special form of the future in which everyone who used to live in the country is dead, so there are no more rednecks. Instead, humanity is all smooshed together in a soulless concrete jungle filled with massive high rises apartments called Mega City One. It's like Chuck Norris' nightmare. I figure China's about to take over the world, so it makes sense to model the future after what Asia looks like today.
To deal with this constant living pressure, everyone does drugs. Most drugs are basic uppers, but the city is currently plagued by a hyper form of marijuana that literally makes your world move like you're in a Zach Snyder film. It's even called Slo-mo. You just drop a little of it in your eyes and enjoy the ride. It's the most harmless fake drug in the history of cinema.
Harmless or not, it's against the law, so Mega City One's Judges have to bust people who use it. These Judges are harsh characters. Due to the high volume of crime in Mega City One, there's no time for court cases. So the police force must also work as Juries. After deciding whether someone is guilty or not, they become Judges and pick a sentence. And when they do capitol punishment cases, they also get to be Executioners, or sometimes they let people out on parole. Most times, cases get thrown out on account of a lady with big boobies walking by. This seems like a lot of work, but it's a coveted position as the job earns them not only four paychecks but four opportunities for bribes.
To be a Judge, though, you have a helmet surgically attached to your skull. The helmet is disproportionately large because you're also a lawyer and require big brains. Basically, the helmet keeps your brains in because you no longer have a skull. It hurts when your brains slosh around, so many Judges grimace comically all day long.
Things are changing, however, when this film begins. We meet our hero, Judge Dredd, just as he's introduced to a potential future Judge named Judge Jr. Judge Jr. represents a new era for judges. She doesn't have to wear the oversized helmet because it will interfere with her amazing psychic abilities. She can see through walls, read peoples minds and even float quarters. If people like her take over the Judge industry, citizens won't be so suspicious of Judges because they'll all be hot mousy women rather than grizzled tough guys who grimace like someone's squeezing their balls all day.
Judge Dredd's main task is to judge Judge Jr. on her trial Trials. If he gives her the okay, she can officially become Judge Jr. If not, she'll get hooked on slo-mo and die an extra drawn out death, one assumes. According to this film, Judges and Gangsters are the only employment opportunities Mega City One offers.
So Judge Dredd and Judge Jr. answer a triple homicide call at the "Peach Pit" apartment high rise. They solve the crime quickly upon arrival. Three men were skinned alive, given hits of Slow-mo, then thrown off the top floor to their deaths. All they have to do is find the person that did it. The high rise is home to notorious drug lord Mamma, who happens to live on the top floor. So they start walking upstairs. That's 200 stories; it will probably take them at least 90 minutes.
But Mamma sees them coming and doesn't want to get arrested, so she shuts the building down with blast doors and promises free rent to anyone who kills the Judges. Welcome to the rest of the film. It's an awesome place to hang out for at least 90 minutes.
You might think things are weighed in Mamma's favor, but that's just because I haven't told you about Judge Dredd's gun yet. It's speech operated. Its clip has many different kinds of bullets in it. So if you want shit to explode, you say "Blow up bullets!" If you want to set people on fire you say, "Flame bullets!" If you only want to wound bad guys, you say "Rubber bullets!" And if you want to drown bad guys, you ask for a "Fishbowl full of water bullets!" You don't even need to pull a trigger; just say "Bang bang bang!"
With guns like these and that big ass helmet, Judge Dredd is remarkable difficult to murder. So what happens is, every couple of minutes there's a gunfight which he wins. That might get boring after a while. Luckily, everyone's on slow-mo, so we can see with great detail what it looks like when Dredd shoots someone's cheek (for some reason, he's big on shooting people in the cheek).
Eventually, Mamma sees the threat Judge Dredd poses, so she hires a bunch of dirty Judges to kill him. Meanwhile, Judge Jr. gets kidnapped and has to fight her way through a psychic rape-off with Avon Barksdale. Things work out, though. She bites off Barksdale's psychic penis while Dredd kills all the other Judges by having his gun shoot them with "Wimp bullets," after which they all lay down and cry while Dredd steps on their throats.
"Both suffer bullet wounds, however. Luckily, Judges are also Doctors, and they quickly have each other patched up. One secret to being a Judge is that you're actually also a time traveler. Both Judge Dredd and Judge Jr. have present tense versions of themselves sitting at home, meditating on not going into work that day. By lowering their chances of actually showing up, the movie Judges heal twice as fast in the future, which is our present and their past. Also, if shit gets really hairy, Judge Dredd 2 can always call up Judge Dredd 1 for backup. Judge Jr. does not yet have those privileges but she could always break the rules if need be. In this film, anyway, need be not." -- This paragraph was written by a particularly stupid astrophysicist.
With no more bad guys in the way, it's time for Judge Dredd to kill Mamma, whom we've learned is actually the sole manufacturer of Slow-mo in Mega City One. She doesn't put up much of a fight. It's not boring, though, because the way he kills her is so mean. After giving her a dose of Slow-mo, he throws her off the 200th floor. We see her hit the ground from the ground's point of view, which allows us to watch her body liquefy upon impact. I believe this is the first shot of its kind and expect to be remembered for it from now unto the end of time. Don't forget that it was in 3D.
As for Mamma's henchmen, one of them makes Judge Jr. angry and she responds by losing control and mentally blowing them all up. So now we don't need a live action Akira.
With the day saved, it's time for Judge Dredd to judge Judge Jr. But just before he can, she judges herself and doesn't like what she sees. In a huff of self pity, she walks off in disappointment. That just saves Judge Dredd the trouble of telling her she failed and shooting her in the head.