Dredd Movie Shots

Dredd Movie Title Poster

Netflix added Dredd (2012) yesteday, so I finally decided it was time to see it. I wanted to watch it in the theaters but I’m lazy and cheap. I wanted to rent it from Redbox but I’m lazy and I guess even more cheap than I thought. Anyway, whatever. It done been seen, son.

How did I like it? I actually really liked it. I hadn’t read up on it, so I didn’t know what to expect. Karl Urban (Dr. McCoy on Star Trek) plays Dredd and handles himself quite well right up to the credible Dredd scowl. I liked Olivia Thurbey as Judge Anderson. She wasn’t a waif or some over-wrought tough girl. She just did her part in playing a character I could believe in. Another one of my favorite scowlers, Lena Headey, convincingly played the nutty antagonist  as well.

I was surprised that almost the entire movie was held in a single massive building. I like my action films to mix it up with lots of different locations (i.e., Bond and Bourne), but Dredd kept it close to the vest and pulled it off neatly. The progression of the film was well-paced and the script stayed away from unnecessary complications. There are no major plot twists and the ending was exactly the way it should have been without the annoying sentimentality that pervades so many action movies. Who the hell needs a bunch of platitudes, unspoken endearment, and good-natured Happy Hour ribbing at a bar?

Plot summary: The film is set about a century from now, I think, although I don’t understand why people are driving vehicles from the 1980s to now. Surely there would have been at least different looking cars in the future especially since Volkswagen buses most surely can’t run for over 100 years. Anyway, the world has gone to shit and most of the population in the United States is now located in massive pollution and crime-choked cities. Huge buildings have been constructed to house entire communities. Unemployment and social discontent is pervasive. To manage law and order as best as possible, “judges” work the streets as sanctioned police, judge, jury, and execution authorities.

The main protagonist of the story is Judge Dredd, a bad-ass dude with a reputation to be respected. He has just been assigned a rookie named Anderson who is a powerful mutant psychic but who failed out of the judge academy. Because of her psychic powers, the chief wants to give her a shot at proving herself on the streets. Dredd is tasked with mentoring her to see if she can pass muster.

While out on patrol, Dredd and Anderson respond to a report of a triple-murder at the Peachtree complex, a monolithic 200-story building that houses 75,000 residents, most of whom are unemployed. Dredd and Anderson discover that the murders are tied to a new drug called Slow-Mo. The drug’s users experience a unique sensation of time slowing down to 1% of normal speed. The special 3-D technology that showed what that experience looked like was incredible. That alone was worth watching.

The criminal activity in the building is run by Ma-Ma, a scar-faced former prostitute with ambition and a psychotic temperament. She exudes a calm exterior but that only makes her more frightening when she passes her own judgment on enemies and followers alike. Ma-Ma gives the order to shut down the building when the judges discover one of the primary perpetrators for the murders, a close acolyte of Ma-Ma’s named Kay. Fearing that his interrogation could yield information on Ma-Ma’s criminal network, she announces to the entire building that the judges are not to leave alive. So begins the cat-and-mouse game that runs most of the rest of the movie.

This is a furiously violent film. Lots of bodies explode and lots of people die. If you haven’t seen it yet and you’re a fan of the comics, I’d say this is one adaptation that’s worthy of carrying the name. Sure, films are always different than comics, but this film was actually as good as the source material, albeit differently. John Wagner, co-creator of Judge Dredd, gave it his blessing.

Gaze into the Fist of Dredd comic

4.567 out of 5 stars

Here is a bunch of screen shots.

mega city buildings judge dredd on motorcycle motorcycle
headshot ma ma slow mo falling bodies
ma ma scarred face slow mo fighting slow mo face shot
slow mo face shot slow mo face shot slow mo helmet
slow mo bullet judge anderson judge dredd clan techie eye
shooting gatling gun judge dredd explosion ma ma shooting gatling gun
kay pissing himself judges execution of ma ma
ma ma falling anderson and dredd dredd and anderson
judge dredd closing credits mega city ending

Lena Headey as Natasha Romanova the Black Widow, perhaps?

We forgot to include this picture in our previous post on Lena Headey. Here’s a rare moment of levity. ‘Cuz she’s so buttoned down. Rock on, ya rebel!

Lena Headey, actress

You know, it occurs to us that Lena might make a good Black Widow. She has the face and sleak body for it.  She could pass for a cinematic Russian femme fatale — far more than Scarlett Johansson did, despite her Belarusian ancestry — not just because of her looks but because she exudes a sense of experience and world weariness that we think the Marvel character carries with her.

Well, what do you know? As we did a little reading while writing this post, we discovered that Lena already had a turn at the Black Widow wheel. Apparently, she voiced Natasha Romanova (or Natasha Romanoff if you prefer) in the goofball  Marvel TV series Super Hero Squad Show.  So, see?  We’re already part of the way there. Lena has the voice, she has the face, she has the body, she has the moves — she just needs the uniform and a bit of motivation.

Now, if we can just find a good Daredevil, we’ve got a story in the making …

Black Widow, Marvel Comics character

Lena Headey fights 300 Grimm Terminators with Dredd-locks in a Cave to win the Throne

Bermuda. West Yorkshire. Come on Lena Headey…

Our post on Dredd made us think about Lena. Props to the girl. She’s built an impressive résumé. For our part, we miss her turn as the modern Mother Mary in The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Bah. The good ones die first.

Lena Headey, actress

The patent Lena Headey furrowed brow and locked lips.

Lean Headey, actress

An asphalt nightmare for sure. Say, did you know Lena dated Jason Flemyng for several years? They met on the set of The Jungle Book in 1994. Nothing special about that tidbit. Just sayin’ is all.