‘Dredd 3D’ Clip: Karl Urban is the Law

Published 3 years ago by

Back in 1995, Sylvester Stallone donned the Judge Dredd helmet in order to bring the comic book warrior to life on the big screen. The character, as imagined by John Wagner, is a mix of Dirty Harry and RoboCop (Dredd actually inspired the latter) whose portrayal over the years has varied from a satirical riff on the fascist American cop tropes – to a dead-serious version of a futuristic officer who’s judge, jury, and executioner all rolled into one.

Stallone was a good physical match for the character, but his take on Dredd was closer to a sci-fi version of Rambo – not to mention, his costume (complete with golden codpiece) and line delivery (including, the now infamous “I am the law!”) resulted in a seemingly-unintentional lampoon version of the Judge. However, as illustrated in the new Dredd 3D clip, Karl Urban’s portrayal of the character goes to the opposite extreme (in a good way).

The Judge Dredd reboot ditches the world-building approach of Stallone’s movie for a lean and mean plot where Dredd spends a day with rookie Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a psychic who’s looking to get a crash-course in dispensing brutal justice from her superior. What Anderson doesn’t count on, though, is a trip down to the Peach Trees compound, which is run by ruthless drug lord Madeline ‘Ma-Ma’ Madrigal (Lena Headey), whose criminal empire is built on the mind-altering drug Slo-Mo. When Ma-Ma gets wind of two Judges on her turf, she orders ever crook nearby to take them out – kicking off a battle to the death between her army and “The Law.”

dredd 3d clip Dredd 3D Clip: Karl Urban is the Law

Karl Urban as Judge Dredd

Urban, as mentioned before, adapts a raspy tone to become a “faceless” version of Dredd (ie. one whose face we never see in full) in the 3D reboot – and his spin on the character works much better than Stallone’s, in the context of the film. It was a gamble to make Dredd so non-empathetic, but director Pete Travis keeps Dredd 3D moving at such a brisk pace that attempts to humanize the character might have just felt like clogs in the finely-tuned machine.

Dredd 3D was shown to select members of the press at Comic-Con; although this writer has raised issues with the thin story/characters, there’s no denying the film excels as an entertaining, ultra-violent, B-movie. It’s obviously not for everyone – or even all Judge Dredd fans, for that matter – but for those in the mood to watch Urban as Dredd reduce baddies to bloody smithereens, this is a must-see.

Dredd 3D opens in U.S. theaters on September 21st, 2012.

Source: Lionsgate

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    • LAW!!!!!!

      • 😀


  3. So the premise is sorta like the raid… and he sounds like batman! Awesome lol Karl urban for Bruce Wayne

    • I believe Dredd starting production first. I think it is just a giant coincidence.

      • I’m not by any means calling it a copy just making some comments I think its cool. and urban could be a cool batman

    • There was a rumor going around at one time that Karl Urban was in talk to play The Dark Knight… on the SMALL SCREEN. Yep, a new Batman television series with Karl Urban as Bruce Wayne. I think he’d knock it out of the park. I’m guessing budget constraints would make something like this difficult, but heck, they’re bringing HULK back to television – why not Bats? If they can keep it Nolan-esque, all the better.

  4. Even more excited for this now, can’t wait for September 7th.

    I loved the Stallone version, I just didn’t like that they called him Joseph rather than Joe and that he took the helmet off (which is understandable since Stallone was such a big name, they couldn’t go a whole movie without showing his face).

  5. Quite a few of the guys over on the 2000 ad board saw it at the UK premiere last night. They were all ecstatic with joy that the film rocked. (and also the fact that they all met Karl Urban, Alex Garland, John Wagner and Carlos Esquerra)

    I can’t flippin’ wait, Just a week to go. Yippee! (^-^)

    • Reassuring to know since they’re the most fierce critics when it comes to Dredd.

  6. I could barely understand a word he was saying. More Bane than Batman….

    • I think some of that dialogue is supposed to sound better in the cinema’s surround sound.

      He basically tells the residents of Peach Trees block that…

      “In case you have forgotten, this block operates under the same laws as the rest of the city. Ma Ma is not the law. I am the law!”

  7. I can’t wait for this movie. I was sold with the first trailer.

    This has been an awesome summer.

  8. So basically just a violent shoot em up. Yawn. They shouldn’t have called it Dredd, then.

    • John Wagner seems happy enough with it. Nowt wrong with shoot em ups.

  9. Sorry no one compares to Stallone I wont even waste my time with this movie

    • Though you took the time to post on this.

    • You are correct, Karl Urban can not be compared to Stallone.

      For one, Karl Urban can act.

      • Stalone acted in Rocky!

        • That doesn’t excuse him sucking as Judge Dredd.

  10. This will be one of the brightest spots of the year.

    • I wouldn’t say Mega-City-One is on of the “brightest spots” to vacation in, but I get what you mean. (^-^)