Better Off Dredd!


DREDD (2012) Director: Pete Travis Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thrilby, Lena Headey Rating: R for a ton of graphic violence, bad language, adult situations, and dystopian future stuff.

Gather around kids, it’s time to learn something!

Wait! Come back! This will be brief, I promise. The movie I’m reviewing this week is based on a long running comic book, and I thought it would be nice if I gave you a little history lesson about the title character based on my extensive knowledge of something I just read on Wikipedia.

In 1977 Judge Joseph Dredd made his debut in 2000 AD, a British science fiction anthology comic book and became one of the most popular recurring characters. Fans thrilled to the gritty exploits of this “Street Judge” who dispenses law and order in a future society armed with a high tech handgun and an awesome helmet.


Pictured: helmet that is awesome.

Then in 1995, Hollywood came a calling, and cult comic book Judge Dredd became big action movie Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stallone, his awesome helmet…

and his plated package!

Critics and comic book fans worldwide gave a big thumbs down to Sly’s robotic codpiece and everything else about Judge Dredd, although I think Rob Shneider did a fantastic job in the thankless role of Fergie, Dredd’s wisecracking, non codpiece wearing sidekick.

A good sidekick is aces in my book. So is a nude scene by an A list actress as long as it’s integral to the plot and she’s really really pretty.

Anyway, now that 17 years have passed and the horrible memories of  Judge Dredd have finally subsided, a new Judge Dredd was reborn with the 2012 actioner simply titled DREDD. Gone are the flying motorcycles and Versace designed costumes, replaced with lots of guns and buckets of CG blood and gore because that’s what Judge Dredd would want even though he’s a fictional character and therefore doesn’t exist!

In the future the world has been turned into a blighted wasteland because of a nuclear war or a plague or because someone forgot to water the plants. Everyone in America now lives in Mega City One, a mega metropolis which stretches from Boston to Washington DC, is home to 800 million people, and looks like a soundstage in South Africa.

Crime and lawlessness are rampant in Mega City One, and it’s up to The Judges (who have the power of judge, jury, and executioner) to maintain order. Leading the charge against the criminals is the biggest baddest Street Judge on the force, Joseph Dredd (Karl Urban) who talks softly and carries a really big gun with more bells and whistles than the bells and whistles kiosk at the mall.

Dredd, who hates to work with a partner, is of course partnered with a rookie Judge named Anderson (Olivia Thrilby) who is a psychic and can’t wear the awesome helmet because it interferes with her mind reading powers and hides her purty face.

While investigating a series of murders at a 200 story apartment building, Dredd and Anderson run afoul of Ma-Ma (Lena Heady), a ruthless drug lord who is really cranky when it comes to cops who want to disrupt her busy narcotics factory. Before he can call for backup, Dredd and his young partner find themselves sealed inside the massive skyscraper with hundreds of Ma-Ma’s heavily armed thugs who are just dying to welcome their new guests to the neighborhood.

It’s at this point where DREDD turns into a giant live action rated M for mature video game as Dredd and Anderson jump from level to level picking off bad guys with lots of gun fights and ass kicking, trying to shut down Ma-Ma’s drug empire and find an open window so they can call for backup because even in the future you can’t get a decent cell phone signal in a freakin high rise!

Action movie fans should be pretty satisfied with DREDD. Sci-fi fans who love things exploding in slow motion will love DREDD. People who like to see all of Karl Urban’s face will absolutly hate DREDD, because the actor never removes his helmet. Why? It’s awesome.


Pictured: Awesome.


About Tom Levier

Tom is a New Jersey native who lived in New York City for a while, and is now back in the Garden State. He is creator and writer of Central Park: A Misguide, DVD Critics Corner!, and The Gallows. Please read, comment on, and subscribe to his blogs. It would make him very happy. When not writing, Tom enjoys making jewelry and other handmade items for his shop Cold Garage Creations. Check out his shop on Etsy!

Posted on March 28, 2013, in Action Movies, DVD, Fiction, Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix, Reviews, Sci Fi Movies, Science Fiction, Thrillers, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Nice Codpiece lol, Was not a fan of the original film but I am looking forward to checking this one out.

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