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Judge Joseph Dredd
Played By: Karl Urban
Voiced By: Raúl Anaya (Latin-American Spanish), Keiji Fujiwara (Japanese)A renowned Street Judge in Mega-City One with the authority of judge, jury and executioner.
- Abnormal Ammo: Unlike Anderson, Dredd makes full use of his Lawgiver's capabilities.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Subverted. He calls for armour piercing rounds at one point, only to find he's run dry of them.
- Anti-Hero: He enforces the law to the letter and without compromise. This includes locking up helpless homeless people for 'vagrancy' but he knows his priorities, and he shows a rare soft spot by harshly suggesting to the vagrant in question that he clear out before Dredd returns from his current mission.
- Badass Baritone: Has a deep voice that puts Christian Bale's Batman to shame.
- Badass Biker: His Establishing Character Moment has him pursuing a van full of perps on his Lawmaster. He skilfully weaves in and out of traffic, while his quarry runs over an innocent civilian. He then uses his bike's guns to disable the vehicle.
- Badass Boast: Delivers one while Anderson is captured:Dredd: 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...Judgment time.
- Berserk Button: As much of a Knight Templar as he can be, threatening, hurting, or killing innocent bystanders is a good way to get on his bad side. You don't want to be on his bad side.
- Big Brother Mentor: If Anderson is any indication, he gives his rookie partners both the criticism and praise they need to bring out the best in them.
- By-the-Book Cop: Notably, he doesn't use his bike's mounted machine guns on the perps he's chasing at the beginning until they kill an innocent bystander and refuses to execute Kay on 99% certainty of guilt. He also stuns the two kids who try to ambush him, when he could have easily killed them (his gun was set to live rounds, and he needed a half-second to change it).
- Calling Your Attacks: The Lawgiver is a voiced activated weapon. He does this with a stun grenade before throwing it at some Mooks, but this may be to give Anderson the heads up.
- Combat Pragmatist: Not afraid to use gas, grenades and flashbangs to get the upper hand. When he gives the warning to a group of perps and they counter that Dredd has less time to comply, Dredd quips "Thanks for the heads up", sets off a flashbang and slaughters them all.
- Deadpan Snarker: Very, very deadpan.(right before they breach the door to a drug den)Anderson: The helmet interferes with my psychic abilities, sir.Dredd: Think a bullet might interfere with them more?
- The Determinator: Fights pretty much an entire city block without so much as breaking a sweat. Even after getting shot, he patches himself up and gets back to it.
- The Dreaded: The corrupt judges know exactly how dangerous he is and demand one million credits for killing him. Notably, this trope is downplayed compared to the comics, as Ma-Ma and all her gang have no idea of Dredd's reputation, whereas the entire city knows who he is in the comics.Judge Lex: One million credits.Ma-Ma: A million?Judge Lex: You have a problem with a Judge.You know who he is?Ma-Ma: No.Judge Lex: I do. One million.
- The Faceless: Notably, he never removes his helmet, unlike Stallone's version. The one scene in which he doesn't wear it is when he's getting suited up for work, and thus hasn't put it on yet. Even then, his face is never visible.
- Good Is Not Nice: He's on the side of the law, but don't expect much in the way of compassion, emotion or even conversation.
- Good Is Not Soft: Is quite hard on Anderson, and even harder on perps. Though, in Mega City One, he can hardly be blamed and considers it all to be the deep end.
- The Gunslinger: When he is held up by a pair of juves, he manages a Quick Draw after he cons them with the Not with the Safety on, You Won't trick. He's also frighteningly accurate with his Lawgiver.
- Guttural Growler: Even the actor said the voice was hard to maintain.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted. Only time it's ever off is when he sleeps.
- Hidden Depths: When Anderson probes him early in the film, she feels "something" beyond the "anger and control" we would normally associate with Dredd. It's never explained what it is, though fan theories abound.
- I Am the Trope: His famous Catch-Phrase.
- Implacable Man: Even getting shot doesn't stop him for very long.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Damn near every shot he fires is a Boom, Headshot.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he is pretty hard on everyone, he gives Anderson the pass she deserves, even being convinced (and possibly even impressed) when she let the Clan Techie go.
- Knight Templar: Surprisingly averted, mostly. He enforces the law unflinchingly, but prioritizes capital crimes and felonies over misdemeanors, and even gives some perps a chance to disappear or give up peacefully. Push him, though, and he's without mercy.
- Kill It with Fire: Incendiary and Hotshot rounds.
- Last-Name Basis: His first name is never mentioned in the film. If you weren't familiar with source material, you might get the impression that his first name is 'Judge'.
- Meaningful Name: Judge Dredd.
- Never Bareheaded: In keeping with the source material.
- Not So Stoic: While he's mostly a growling, frowny badass who isn't phased by anything, he finally loses a little of his cool when he sees Ma-Ma spinning up three high-powered gatling guns.
- Dredd: Oh, shit.
- One-Man Army: The corrupt judges demand an abnormally high fee to go after him for a good reason.Command: Do you require backup?
Judge Dredd: No.
- One-Way Visor: As in the comics, his face can't be seen through his visor.
- Perma-Stubble: His unshaven look in the film is likely indicative of him working for long periods without rest. The film takes place overnight, contributing to this.
- Perpetual Frowner: Even though the upper area of his face is never, ever visible, he manages it.
- Pragmatic Hero: Perhaps the most no-nonsense protagonist in a film in a long time. Attempt to threaten him, use hostages as leverage or even raise a gun against him, he will simply shoot you for your trouble.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Defense noted."
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He definitely tries to be one despite his tendencies. He is there to enforce the law, not kill people; it's just that enforcing the law most of the time means killing people. Most notably, he tries to avoid killing a hostage taker. Early in the movie, he doesn't fire on a van until they run over an innocent pedestrian. Later, when first arriving at Peach Trees, he has Anderson deliver a verdict to a vagrant, but prioritizes investigating the murders and warns the vagrant to be gone by the time he comes back."Can't execute a perp on 99%."
- Bear in mind that Dredd is also well aware that the Judges are massively overwhelmed by the sheer amount of criminality sweeping Megacity One on a daily basis. So one could argue it's not so much a matter of him being compassionate or understanding, so much as it is him prioritizing crimes that are felonies or seriously effect life and property. Given his adherence to the ideal of justice, he'd probably prosecute all crimes if he could, but he realizes that would probably result in several much larger crimes escaping his attention.
- Scarred Equipment: Even at the start of the film, Dredd's helmet has several prominent scratches and one of his shoulder pads has a noticeable dent in it, showing that he is an experienced street judge. Lex's armour piercing round adds a hole to his body armour later on.
- Seen It All: At the end, this is all just another day for him.Chief Judge: What happened here?Dredd: Drug bust.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Averted. While he's definitely a cynic and is slightly incredulous at Anderson's idealism, when she explains her reasons he calls her attitude unironically admirable.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: To Anderson, and said word for word by the Chief Judge. He spends the movie quizzing Anderson on Judge-related knowledge, including procedures, sentencing, and tactical options, and also has Anderson run point for much of the movie, given that he's evaluating her. At the same time, however, whenever they breach, he's the first one through the door, since he's the more experienced Judge.
- The Stoic: Gives his own abdominal wound a field dressing (using a quick clotting foam and sutures without anesthetic) without so much as a whimper.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Hi-Ex rounds.
- Stun Gun: Stun rounds.
- Supporting Protagonist: The movie revolves around Anderson and her evaluation by Dredd. While she goes through Character Development by Taking a Level in Badass, becoming a more capable judge in the process, this is just another day at work for Dredd.
- Terse Talker: Only speaks when necessary and never says any more than he needs to in order to get his point across. In many cases, this is often with a single word. Much of this was Karl Urban's idea with him stripping back Dredd's lines, feeling that minimal conversation was in character.
- Tranquil Fury: Never raises his voice above a low growl, but it's easy to see he's losing his temper when he attempts to interrogate Kay. Anderson specifically mentions that Dredd is nothing but this inside his head.
- Unflinching Walk: Never moves above a methodical, advancing walk. Until Ma-Ma uses the Gatling.
- Would Hit a Girl: He has no problem with throwing Ma-Ma out a window to her death.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: He uses stun rounds on a pair of juveniles though. It wasn't exactly pleasant for them, but it left them relatively unharmed and that's usually the best you can hope for if you aim a gun at Dredd.
Judge Cassandra Anderson
Played By: Olivia Thirlby
Voiced By: Erica Edwards (Latin-American Spanish), Ayumi Fujimura (Japanese)A rookie Judge and genetic mutant with powerful psychic abilities who can sense the thoughts and emotions of others.
- Action Girl: Not at first, but when she escapes from Kay's imprisonment, she kicks major arse, even taking down two experienced and corrupt judges.
- Big Damn Heroes: Rescues Dredd with a Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind.
- Break the Cutie: Played with, but it turns out that what doesn't kill you makes you a better Judge.
- Deadpan Snarker: "Welcome, to the inside of your head... it's kind of empty in here."
- Distressed Damsel: Subverted. While she gets captured by Kay after a momentary lapse in concentration and she looks to be in utter terror when brought in front of Ma-Ma, she escapes on her own when Kay tries to use her Lawgiver on her. She subsequently rearms herself, kills a few Mooks and actually rescues Dredd with Lex has him dead to rights.
- Fair Cop: Her looks are lampshaded by Kay, noting that most mutants are hideously deformed. Mutants are barred from becoming Judges normally, making her an even more special case.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Justified. The helmet would interfere with her psychic powers. Though Dredd is quick to point out that a bullet in the head might interfere with them more.
- Ms. Fanservice: She gets naked a couple of times, but they're in cases of Fan Disservice.
- Mind Rape: Kay tries this on her, but she turns it around on him since she's the one with Psychic Powers.Anderson: "I can play mind games, too."
- NaÔve Newcomer: Wants to be a judge so she can make a difference to people like her parents. Dredd considers this to be admirable.
- Peek-a-Bangs: When Anderson is captured, to show her vulnerability. It doesn't last.
- Precious Photo: Of herself as a child with her now-deceased parents.
- Psychic Powers: The main reason that she hasn't been drummed out of the academy is because she's a psychic. The department considers her to be an asset since being able to read minds makes interrogations far easier.
- The Quiet One: Since Dredd is her instructor, she listens a lot more than speaks to him, at least at first.
- The Stoic: Anderson clearly has strong emotions but is careful to keep up a Judge-ly facade of coolness and composure. Even when Kay is trying to Mind Rape her, or has her tied up and at his mercy.
- Took a Level in Badass: Started out as a rookie cop in danger of failing. By the end of the day, she's a qualified Judge who's won Dredd's approval.
- Turn in Your Badge: Does this voluntarily at the end, believing she failed her assessment for losing her Lawgiver, which Dredd told her was a fail. Except he passed her. In the comic sequel, she's still on the force.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: At first. Her motivation to be a judge is to make a difference to the innocent citizens of Mega City One, something Dredd notes is admirable.
Played By: Langley KirkwoodA fellow Judge called in for backup.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Injures Dredd with an armour piercing round from his Lawgiver. Penetrates the cover Dredd is taking (a wall of concrete), and then Dredd.
- Cavalry Betrayal: Lex is meant to be providing backup. Instead, he and his fellow dirty Judges try to kill Dredd and Anderson for Ma-Ma.
- Dirty Cop: He's being paid by Ma-Ma to kill Dredd and Anderson.
- Evil Gloating: Indulges in this when he thinks Dredd is begging for his life. He's not.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: While not Ma-Ma's full time underling, Lex is the only antagonistic character that can go toes to toes with Dredd, as expected from an another seasoned judge. It takes Anderson intervening to tip the odd in Dredd's favor.
- In the Back: He shoots Dredd in the back (although not in a cowardly manner; Dredd is taking cover behind a wall with his back to it and Lex blasts him through the wall). Luckily, Dredd survives and Anderson comes back to finish Lex off the same way.
- Walking Spoiler: For a damned good reason; he's a Dirty Judge on Ma-Ma's payroll, and doesn't show up until the climax of the film.
- Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: He gloats about Dredd's seeming cowardice when Dredd says "Wait." This turns out to be his undoing when Anderson shoots him in the back. Dredd arguably did this on purpose.
Madeline Madrigal AKA "Ma-Ma"
Played By: Lena Headey
Voiced By: Adriana Casas (Latin-American Spanish)A prostitute turned drug lord with a trademark for excessive violence.
"Skin them. Toss them over the balcony."
- The Alcoholic: In her backstory, she has to take a drink to start the day and notes that she can't remember the last time she didn't wake up and drink a quart.
- Alliterative Name: Madeline Madrigal, hence her name of 'Ma-Ma'.
- All There in the Manual: Her backstory is fleshed out in a tie-in strip that was published in Judge Dredd Megazine.
- Ax-Crazy: In her Establishing Character Moment, she has some rival dealers skinned, drugged and tossed off the top floor of the block. She has no qualms about wiping out the block just to stop Dredd. TJ even points out that Ma-Ma's reputation is based on excessive violence.
- Badass Boast: She makes one as she locks down Peach Trees, essentially setting up the plot of the film."Peach Trees, this is Ma-Ma. Somewhere in this block are two Judges. I want them dead. Until I get what I want the block is locked down. All clan, every level, hunt the Judges down. Everyone else, clear the corridors and stay the fuck out of our way until the shooting stops. If I hear of anyone helping the judges, I will kill them and the next generation of their family. As for the judges: sit tight, or run. Makes no difference. You're mine."
- Big Bad: She's the main antagonist; she's dealing Slo-Mo, she runs Peach Trees and she's the biggest threat to Dredd and Anderson.
- Contemplating Your Hands: When testing the Slo-Mo, she's in the bath tub watching the arcs of water left behind when she lifts her hands.
- Crazy-Prepared: Rigs herself with a bomb capable of destroying Peach Trees, set to detonate if her pulse stops, using it to try and force Dredd out of the block. Unfortunately for her, he's willing to gamble the signal don't be strong enough... after he's thrown her out of her top-level apartment, all the way to the ground floor.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Used to be a prostitute, and was cut up by her pimp. She responded by biting his penis off.
- Dead Man Switch: Tries to use this when Dredd corners her. He responds by throwing her out a window so the transmitter is out of range.
- Defiant to the End: Whatever her flaws, it cannot be denied that the woman simply will not give up. By the end of the film, practically (if not literally) her entire gang has been slaughtered and she still refuses to accept that she's lost, though it wouldn't be the first time she built herself up from nothing. Even Dredd preparing to toss her ass 200 stories down is met with a smile.
- Destination Defenestration: Dredd essentially chokeslams her through the window of her 200th floor apartment.
- Diabolical Mastermind: Rare Female Example. After introducing Slo-Mo to Peach Trees, she begins systematically dismantling the rivals gangs in the block, taking control in a short period of time.
- Disney Villain Death: Dredd throws her from the top floor of Peach Trees to her death. We get to see her land in slow motion.
- Getting High on Their Own Supply: She's introduced while high on Slo-Mo. Dredd forces another dose on her before throwing her out the window.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: When you go from being a lowly prostitute to one of the most feared gang lords in a Crapsack World filled with sadist types, it's pretty damn indicative.
- Genre Savvy: Has her moments, such as knowing she has to kill Kay before the Judges get him back to the Precinct, because she knows damn well they will get him to talk if they do.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Massive red slashes over the left side of her face from where her old pimp cut her.
- Go Out with a Smile: She's grinning all the way down to the bottom of Peach Trees.
- Groin Attack: Said to have bit her pimp's penis off in retaliation for her slashed face. For anyone else, this might seem like an embellishment.
- Karmic Death: Dredd dopes her up on Slo-Mo before tossing her out a window, just as she did to the drug dealers at the beginning.
- Klingon Promotion: She became a drug lord by killing her pimp and taking over his business interests.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Specifically orders her men to abstain from raping or torturing Anderson so they can make it look like she was killed during a "bust that went wrong".
- Non-Action Big Bad: While she does engage in the occasional torture and mutilation in controlled settings, Ma-Ma herself never engages in personal combat during the film. She does take a turn on the Gatling guns, though.
- One Bad Mother: Her alias, Ma-Ma.
- Slasher Smile: Whenever she does smile, it's one of these. And literally, as well, since her face is marked with scars.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: She never raises her voice, even when chastising her henchmen.
- Stupid Evil: Regularly tortures Clan Techie, who is the person who has complete computer control over all of Peach Tree. Guess who betrays her at the first opportunity and gives the codes to her safe room?
- Tattooed Crook: A trailing leaf-vine-flower pattern from her left cheek, over her shoulder and onto her arm. She also has wrist-cuffs.
- The Unfettered: Willing to obliterate an entire level of Peach Trees with military-grade weapons just to kill a lieutenant she knows will talk if Dredd gets him out.
Played By: Wood Harris
Voiced By: Irwin DaayŠn (Latin-American Spanish)Ma-Ma's main enforcer and supplier of the new drug they are manufacturing known as Slo-Mo.
- An Arm and a Leg: Kay meets his end when he tries to fire Anderson's Lawgiver, which promptly blows his arm off in a very messy way.
- Bald of Evil: He's very bald and very evil.
- Battle in the Centre of the Mind: With Anderson, as a form of interrogation. Due to being a Smug Snake, he loses.
- Bring My Brown Pants: He wets himself after losing a mind fight with Anderson.
- Co-Dragons: With Caleb, who mostly sticks close to Ma-Ma, while Kay works down the block.
- Faux Affably Evil: When he tries to be jovial, he just comes across as smug.
- Jerkass: He's crass and very nasty, albeit only to Anderson and Dredd, who are his enemies.
- The Millstone: For the villains. His mistakes cost Ma-Ma more and more as the film goes on.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Kay directs several threats toward Anderson and what he wants to do to her.
- Smug Snake: He's very convinced that he'll be rescued and that he can outsmart his captors. On both counts, he's very wrong.
- Stupid Evil: You'd think it would be common knowledge in the criminal world that Judge's sidearms can only be fired by the judge they're assigned to.
- You Have Failed Me: He narrowly avoids this with Ma-Ma, who's practical enough to know that she needs as many bodies as she can to throw at Dredd.Ma-Ma: All this trouble is your doing. When you got busted, you should have killed the Judges or been killed yourself. But instead you let yourself get taken like the dumb fuck you are.
Played By: Domhnall Gleeson
Voiced By: Josť Gilberto Vilchis (Latin-American Spanish)A technician working for Ma-Ma.
- Anti-Villain: He's not really a bad guy and only works for Ma-Ma because she terrifies the living shit out of him.
- Butt-Monkey: He lives a fragile existence filled with pain.
- Electronic Eyes: As a result of Ma-Ma having gouged out his real ones.
- Eye Scream: Ma-Ma gouged out his eyes, personally, with her bare hands, to make room for his cybernetic implants.
- Forced into Evil: It's unlikely he was a total innocent, but it's clear that he hates working for Ma-Ma and is just as much her victim as anyone.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" / No Name Given: He is never addressed by a name, and "Clan Techie" is just a job description. In the Recursive Adaptation, he's given a name when under witness protection, but his real name is still unknown.
- Nervous Wreck: Though you would be, too, if your employer regularly threatened you with physical harm.
Played By: Warrick Grier
Voiced By: Leonardo García (Latin-American Spanish)The second in command to Ma-Ma as well as her main enforcer.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Caleb begs for his wicked life right before Dredd throws him off a balcony.
- Beard of Evil: A scruffy little goatee.
- Co-Dragons: With Kay. Caleb mostly sticks close to Ma-Ma, while Kay works down the block.
- Disney Villain Death: Dredd just grabs him and throws him off a balcony.
- Genre Savvy: Going by his image quote, he's not convinced by the "no-one could have survived that" argument. Doesn't do him much good against Dredd, though.
- Villainous Breakdown: A minor example. He's shown to be a coolheaded and competent Dragon until he faces Dredd. He's blubbering and begging for his life even as Dredd tosses him off a balcony.
- The Worf Effect: Caleb is shown to be a highly competent henchman who doesn't make the usual assumptions right up until Dredd unceremoniously throws him off a balcony.
Played By: DeObia Oparei
Voiced By: Juan Carlos Tinoco (Latin-American Spanish)A doctor living in Peach Trees.
- Boom, Headshot: When the corrupt Judges come in, they dispose of TJ this way.
- He Knows Too Much: He's killed by the corrupt Judges when Lex ascertains that he will testify honestly about the events in Peach Trees.
- The Medic: He's a doctor living in Peach Trees.
- Mr. Exposition: When Dredd and Anderson show up, he fills them in about Ma-Ma, her violent history and her diabolical reputation.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Decides to be pragmatic about this by not helping the Judges early on while the odds are stacked against them. Later, he sees a chance to be more helpful to them, takes it, and gets shot in the head by corrupt judges as a result.
Played By: Jason CopeA small-time criminal addicted to slo-mo.
"You aren't a very good negotiator, Judge."
- Bald of Evil: Zwirner is a shiny-headed hostage-taking junkie.
- Boom, Headshot: Dredd plugs him with a 'hotshot' to the mouth, which melts his head from the inside-out.
- Cluster F-Bomb: When Judge Dredd is pursuing him and his buddies in the opening scenes, he screams a bunch of obscenities at the driver while trying to shoot at Dredd.
- Zwirner: FUCKERRRRRR! STRAIGHTEN THE FUCK OUT!
- Man on Fire: Combined with Boom, Headshot, courtesy of Dredd's hotshot round. His head burns up from within, starting from the mouth.
- Starter Villain: Zwirner is just an example of who Dredd deals with on a day-to-day basis, and how he deals with them. It's easy to see why Dredd isn't really a "warm-fuzzy" kind of guy.