The film is set in Mega City One, the lone oasis of quasi-civilization on Cursed Earth. Judge Dredd, played by Karl Urban, is the most feared of elite Street Judges, with the power to enforce the law, sentence offenders and execute them on the spot - if necessary. The endlessly inventive mind of writer Alex Garland and the frenetic vision of director Peter Travis bring "Dredd" to life as a futuristic neo-noir action film that returns the celebrated character to the dark, visceral incarnation from John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra's revered comic strip.
The comic writer had this to say about the direction of the new Judge Dredd character,
"Originally he was a very two-dimensional character, a vehicle for extreme behavior in an extreme society, more of a robot than a man. Today he's more rounded, more human, a man capable of introspection, of questioning his own beliefs. I still wouldn't call him a totally three-dimensional character - he would lose something if he was. He needs that robotic aspect to his personality. But he's a man who could say: "Yeah, I got that wrong. I made a mistake. I'm sorry."
Here he describes his thoughts on Sylvester Stallone's 1995 attempt at the comic character,
My views haven't changed, though apart from my initial viewing I haven't seen the film since it came out. They told the wrong story - it didn't have that much to do with Dredd the character as we know him. I don't think Stallone was a bad Dredd, though it would have been better and lent him more cred if he hadn't revealed his face. He was just Dredd in the wrong story. I envy their budget, though. Some of the CGI was very good, and the re-creations of the Angel Gang and the robot. The robot actually came from a Pat Mills story and didn't belong in Dredd, but it looked good. If the plot had revolved around characters like them the film would have been more successful.