- "In case you people have forgotten, this block operates under the same rules as the rest of the city. Ma-Ma is not the law... I am the law. Ma-Ma is a common criminal; guilty of murder, guilty of the manufacture and distribution of the narcotic known as Slo-Mo, and as of now under sentence of death. Any who obstruct me in carrying out my duty will be treated as an accessory to her crimes... you have been warned. And as for you Ma-Ma... judgement time."
- —Judge Dredd
|Affiliation||Mega City One Justice Department|
Behind the Scenes
|Portrayed by||Karl Urban|
Concept and CreationEdit
- "He's a good guy and he's a badass at the same time. It's an irresistable combination. He's your greatest hero and biggest nightmare wrapped up in one. "
- —John Wagner, creator of Judge Dredd.
In a way, Dredd personifies the ends justifying the means. The role also demanded physical preparation; Urban undertook intensive physical training to become a "beast of a man". He also underwent weapons and technical training to learn how to operate under fire, how to arrest criminals and breach doors. He insisted on performing his own motorcycle stunts for the film. He played Dredd with a raspy and harsh vocal tone akin to "a saw cutting through bone", which he found difficult to sustain.
- "America is an irradiated wasteland. Within it lies a city. Outside the boundary walls, a desert. A cursed earth. Inside the walls, a cursed city, stretching from Boston to Washington D.C. An unbroken concrete landscape. 800 million people living in the ruin of the old world and the mega structures of the new one. Mega blocks. Mega highways. Mega City One. Convulsing. Choking. Breaking under its own weight. Citizens in fear of the street. The gun. The gang. Only one thing fighting for order in the chaos: the men and women of the Hall of Justice. Juries. Executioners. Judges."
- —Judge Dredd's immortal first lines.
Dredd cruises through the Mega-Highways of Mega City One on his Lawmaster motorcycle where he receives a bulletin from control about three perps, which he then investigates. he notices a minivan driving very erratically. Dredd deduces that the driver is under the influence of narcotics and chases after them. The driver speeds off after noticing Dredd persuing them. Passenger Ethan Zwirner notices Dredd and arms an Armscor BXP submachine gun, which he uses to fire on Dredd. Dredd forces them off the highway to lower the risk of fatalities only for the minivan to run into a pedestrian, killing him. Seeing an innocent die is the last straw for Dredd, who informs headquarters that he is taking them out. Dredd uses the side-mounted machine guns with brass catchers on the motorcycle to blow the van's tires out, causing it to spin out of control, roll over and crash.
Dredd parks the bike and activates the message telling civilians to stay back before walking over to the overturned car where he finds the dead bodies of the driver, passenger and a vial of the new drug Slo-Mo. Dredd then hears shots fired and notices that Zwirner survived the crash and fled into a nearby Mega Block were he shoots a "fattie" and takes a girl named Rosa hostage. Dredd draws his weapon and tells headquarters to send paramedics before walking into the restaurant Zwirner is holding people hostage at.
Dredd tells Zwirner that his crimes include multiple homicide and attempted murder of a judge, which normally warrants a death sentence. However, Dredd tells him that if he lets the girl go, he will get a life sentence without possibility of parol in the iso-cubes. Zwirner freaks out, telling Dredd that he has no leverage and will kill the girl unless he walks. Dredd then gives up negotiation and shoots Zwirner in the mouth with a hot-shot flare, burning through his brain and killing him. Dredd hears that the Chief Judge wants to see him, so Dredd returns to the Grand Hall of Justice.
During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson, a rookie Judge with powerful psychic abilities due to a genetic mutation as a result of radiation exposure. They hear of a heinous crime where someone had executed three rogue drug dealers by having them skinned, infused with the new drug Slo-Mo and thrown down the atrium from the 39th floor. This calls them to a neighborhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture – Peachtree Block, a 200 story slum housing project controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma and her ruthless clan. Dredd and Anderson learn of a drug den on the 39th floor, which they raid, suspecting the perps from the Ma-Ma clan operated from there.
They arrest a thug named Kay, whom Anderson's mind probe reveals to be the one who carried out the drug dealers' brutal execution. Dredd decides to take him in for questioning rather than just executing him, because he suspects that the higher-ups in the gang had something to do with it. Not wanting her operation to be blown, Ma-Ma's seizes the tower's security control room by force and locks down the building, using its protective blast shields under the pretense of a security test to seal all exits, preventing the Judges from leaving or summoning help. Ma-Ma and her thugs proceed to wage a dirty, vicious assault against the Judges that proves she will stop at nothing to protect her narcotic empire.
Ma-Ma then places a large bounty on the heads of both Judge Dredd and rookie Judge Anderson for anyone who takes them to her dead or alive, the two must confront the odds and engage in a relentless battle for their survival. Dredd works his way towards Ma-Ma, killing or incapacitating anyone who seeks to stop him. Arriving at the 76th floor, the Judges are assaulted by Ma-Ma and her men with three miniguns mounted next to the atrium that rip through the walls, killing numerous residents.
By breaching a damaged outer wall, the Judges become able to call for backup. Meanwhile, Ma-Ma sends her henchman Caleb to confirm the Judges' deaths, but when they meet, Dredd kills all of the henchmen and throws Caleb down the tower's atrium in full view of Ma-Ma.
Dredd suspects Ma-Ma is desperate to keep Kay quiet and beats him for information. Anderson intervenes and uses her psychic abilities to read Kay's mind and learn that Peach Trees is the center of Slo-Mo production and distribution. Anderson suggests they hide while awaiting assistance but Dredd insists they move up the tower and pursue Ma-Ma. Judges Volt and Guthrie respond to Dredd's call, but Ma-Ma's clan techie denies them entry by persuading them the call is part of the security drill.
A pair of armed teens confront Dredd and Anderson, and although Dredd is able to stun them both, the diversion allows Kay to disarm Anderson and escape with her as hostage. He brings her to Ma-Ma's base on the top floor. Dredd sees this and becomes furious, so he immediately heads to a communications booth, hijacks the building's intercoms and broadcasts a message to all the residents, stating that he is going to kill Ma-Ma to carry her death sentence and warns the rest of her gang that he will treat anyone who gets in the way of this as her accomplices.
Nonetheless, they do not heed his warning and surround the comms booth and shoot it up, only to find a gang member that Dredd killed and hung inside the booth. Meanwhile, Dredd has moved to the other side of the atrium and launches an incindiary projectile across the building, burning all twelve of the gang members alive and causing some to fall down the atrium. Dredd watches as the flames are reflected in his helmet visor before walking away.
Fighting the JudgesEdit
While Dredd works his way toward Ma-Ma, she realizes that he is getting dangerously close to the 200th floor and bribes the corrupt Judges Lex, Alvarez, Chan and Kaplan to kill Dredd. The four enter the building and "relieve" a group of Judges outside who where intending to enter the compound after receiving an emergency 10.24 radio broadcast from the two judges trapped inside after they breached a damaged wall to send it. Dredd encounters Chan and is suspicious that he does not ask about Anderson's status.
When Dredd encounters Chan and becomes suspicious that he does not ask about Anderson's status, Chan realizes his cover is blown and the two engage in intense hand-to-hand combat. Dredd shoots Chan in the foot with his own Lawgiver pistol strapped to his thigh before proceeding to belt him in the throat multiple times with the stock of the gun, severely crushing Chan's windpipe and leaving him to quickly suffocate to death. Meanwhile, Kay tries to execute Anderson with her own weapon, but the pistol's DNA scanner does not recognize him and blows his arm off.
Anderson escapes and later encounters Kaplan, whom she promptly kills after reading her mind. Dredd kills Alvarez by firing a high explosive round into his head, which immediately detonates. Dredd realizes this was his last round, so he remains in cover behind a brick separator wall. Lex then fires several armor piercing bullets through the wall, one of them passing through Dredd's abdomen. Lex moves in to execute Dredd, but Dredd manages to stall him long enough for Anderson to get a clear shot on him from behind, killing him instantly.
Confrontation with Ma-MaEdit
Anderson and Dredd obtain the code to Ma-Ma's apartment from her hacker and confront her. Ma-Ma tells Dredd that in the case of her death, a device on her wrist will detonate explosives on the top floors, destroying the building. Dredd shoots her in the stomach anyway and grabs a dying Ma-Ma, holding her against a glass window where she grins mockingly at him, having accepted her fate.
Dredd reasons that the detonator's signal will not reach the explosives from the ground floor and tells her that she is sentenced to death for homicide and narcotics distribution, spraying some Slo-Mo into her mouth. He then asks her how she pleads and Ma-Ma responds by inhaling the drug, symbolically pleading guilty. He tells her that the defense was noted and throws her through the glass. She plummets down the atrium of the 200-story building and lands headfirst, crushing her head and killing her almost instantly.
Dredd looks down at her corpse and says "Yeah...", pleased that the explosive detonator didn't have enough of a range to reach the top floor and that the sentence was carried out in the process. Dredd and Anderson, both shot, leave down the elevator to the front entrance.
She's a PassEdit
In the aftermath, Dredd bandages Anderson's wounds and the two Judges open the shields and leave Peach Trees. Anderson tells Dredd that she accepts that she has failed her evaluation by getting disarmed, and leaves after handing him her badge. Back at the Hall of Justice, The Chief Judge asks Dredd about Anderson's performance; Dredd responds that she had in fact passed.
- In the events of the film, Dredd killed 57 people, including the main villain.
- Dredd kills two corrupt Judges in the film, one by crushing his windpipe.
- Skilled at motorcycle riding.
- The character was previously adapted in the 1995 film Judge Dredd and starred Sylvester Stallone in the title role. This film was very poorly recieved and Alex Garland rewrote it using a new story focusing on being a more serious and gritty film.
- John Wagner has stated enthusiastically that Karl Urban "is Dredd". He hated the previous film and Sylvester Stallone's portrayal of the character.
- Stallone's portrayal of Dredd made him look like a bodybuilder on steroids. Karl Urban's portrayal was made to look fast and lean, like a boxer and closer to a real cop.
- Dredd is a famed Judge for how he wants order in Mega City One. He is brutal, intelligent and vengeful.
- When Judge Anderson reads Dredd's mind she discovers that he is motivated largely by a complex and intense anger and hatred for the human race, having lost all faith in humanity. She also finds that what made Dredd famous, him diving into such dangerous situations, is because he wants to deliver justice but has no actual regard for his own life. He doesn't care if he dies doing his work but if he is on the verge of death he will do whatever it takes to stay alive.
- Top of the World (Minor role and also a different voice actor than Karl Urban).
- Cursed Edge (Mentioned only)
|Main Characters||Judge Dredd - Judge Cassandra Anderson|
|Ma-Ma Clan||Madeline "Ma-Ma" Madrigal - Kay - Caleb - Big Joe - Japhet - Clan Techie|
|Corrupt Judges||Judge Lex - Judge Chan - Judge Alvarez - Judge Kaplan|
|Other characters||TJ - Cathy - Ethan Zwirner - Rosa - Judge Volt - Judge Guthrie - Amos - Freel - Chief Judge - Lester Grimes - Eric|