Judge Dredd: The Karl Urban Years

05 March 2023
"Dredd" is a 2012 science-fiction action film starring Karl Urban as Judge Dredd, a law enforcement officer in a dystopian future where society has collapsed and the only form of law and order is provided by a group of Judges who have the power to arrest, convict, and sentence criminals on the spot.

It is directed by Alex Garland whose notable films include Annihilation and Ex Machina.

In "Dredd," the audience is introduced to a world where the United States has become a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Mega-City One, a sprawling metropolis covering most of the East Coast, is one of the few remaining bastions of civilization. 

The city is home to over 800 million people and is policed by a group of law enforcement officers known as Judges. These Judges have the power to arrest, convict, and sentence criminals on the spot, acting as judge, jury, and executioner all in one.

The story begins when Judge Dredd is tasked with evaluating a new recruit, Cassandra Anderson. Anderson is a rookie Judge who possesses psychic abilities, which make her an asset in the field. Together, they are sent to investigate a drug operation in a massive apartment complex called Peach Trees. The complex is run by a ruthless drug lord named Ma-Ma, who controls the production and distribution of a new drug called ''Slo-Mo''.

Upon arrival at Peach Trees, Dredd and Anderson are initially welcomed by Ma-Ma's henchmen but quickly find themselves under attack. They are forced to fight their way through the building, taking on hordes of heavily armed gang members as they climb their way to the top floor where Ma-Ma is hiding. Along the way, they encounter a number of challenges, including a corrupt Judge who is working with Ma-Ma and a group of rogue computer hackers who are trying to bring down the city's entire infrastructure.

As they approach the top floor, Dredd and Anderson are forced to confront Ma-Ma and her remaining henchmen. In a tense final showdown, they manage to defeat Ma-Ma and bring her to justice, but not before facing a series of intense battles and challenges.

Throughout the film, Dredd and Anderson's relationship develops, with Anderson proving herself to be a valuable asset to Dredd's mission. Their dynamic serves as a driving force for the plot and provides a compelling character arc for both of them.

Karl Urban's performance as Judge Dredd is one of the film's standout features. He portrays the character as a stoic, no-nonsense enforcer of the law, who is willing to do whatever it takes to uphold justice. Olivia Thirlby also delivers a strong performance as Cassandra Anderson, bringing a vulnerability to the role that contrasts nicely with Dredd's toughness.

Overall, "Dredd" is a highly entertaining action film that delivers on all fronts. It's a shame that it didn't do better at the box office, as it deserved more attention and recognition than it received. Nevertheless, it has since developed a cult following, and it remains a favorite among fans of the action and science-fiction genres.

The film's action scenes are its main attraction, and they are expertly choreographed and shot. The film's violence is intense and brutal, but it never feels gratuitous or excessive. The film also has a dark, gritty aesthetic that perfectly captures the bleakness of its setting.

dredd anderson urban thirby

Here's some trivia about Dredd

  1. "Dredd" is based on the popular British comic book character Judge Dredd, who first appeared in 2000 AD comics in 1977.
  2. The film was directed by Pete Travis and written by Alex Garland, who later went on to write and direct the acclaimed sci-fi film "Ex Machina."
  3. Karl Urban, who played Judge Dredd, never takes off his helmet in the film. This is faithful to the comics, where the character is rarely shown without his helmet. In the Stallone version of the film, that version of Dredd spent most of the movie with his helmet off.
  4. The film was shot in 3D, a major trend at the time of filming thanks to the success of James Cameron's Avatar.
  5. The production team built a massive set for the Peach Trees building, which was over 200 feet tall and took up an entire soundstage.
  6. Lena Headey, who played the villain Ma-Ma, reportedly had to undergo dental work to make her teeth look more like those of a drug addict.
  7. The film's soundtrack was composed by Paul Leonard-Morgan and features a mix of electronic and orchestral music.
  8. The film's budget was $50 million, which is relatively low for a sci-fi action film of its scale.
  9. The film was released in September 2012, the same month as another highly anticipated sci-fi film, "Looper."
  10. The film's tagline, "Judgment is Coming," is a reference to the character's catchphrase from the comics, "I am the law."
  11. The film was initially rated R for strong violence, language, drug use, and some sexual content, but a toned-down version was later released to receive a wider audience.
  12. The film was shot on location in Cape Town, South Africa, which provided the filmmakers with a variety of unique and interesting locations to shoot in.
  13. The film's production designer, Mark Digby, designed over 200 sets and props for the film, including the iconic Lawmaster motorcycle.
  14. The film's opening sequence, which features a slow-motion shot of a man falling from a building, was inspired by the work of photographer Gregory Crewdson.
  15. The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD in January 2013 and has since developed a strong cult following.
  16. The film's box office performance was disappointing, grossing only $41.5 million worldwide, which is less than its production budget.
  17. A sequel to the film has been discussed, but as of 2021, no plans for a follow-up have been announced.
  18. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its action sequences, visual style, and Karl Urban's performance as Judge Dredd.


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.

About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
Back to Top