This definitely isn't one of those movies with a lot of character development, but its not your typical action flick either. This is a beautiful work of art with a lot of stylized violence, desolate alleys with shady characters and ill intentions. The grungy neon lights of a dystopian future, the scarlet blood and glimmering glass, the hauntingly beautiful slow motion, what makes this movie great is definitely the visual aspects.
Dredd himself is very one dimensional, forcedly so. Stern, analytical, gruff, his toughness masking a side of him the audience never actually gets to see. His character is described perfectly in the first few minutes by his new psychic apprentice, which is the last look you get inside of his head before its slammed shut. He is a man who takes his duty seriously to the point that it consumes him, defines him.
Ma-ma is sadistically brilliant. Her mob-style domination of peach tree creates a claustrophobic apprehension for a threat far too big to take on in a box far too small to escape. The terror by which she controls the people is believable and vicious. Whats lost in character development is regained by the subtle twisted moments and reactions to the threats imposed on each of the characters.
The psychic scenes were perhaps the most well done and paints a very nice psychological battle between the judge in training and her prisoner. I would've actually enjoyed more of these as they were very surreal and artistic. Its also cool to see the way she breaks him down even after he thinks he has the upper hand.
Slow mo, the drug this movie centers around, makes for some very awesome fight scenes on par with Sherlock Holmes 2: a Game of Shadows and the Matrix. The visual effects were very well executed and i myself being a visual effects artist, have only one complaint. At some points the blood was a bit oversaturated and toonish, which was likely in attempt to match the comic but draws away from a few scenes.