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Headscratchers / Dredd

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  • Anderson isn't fazed by the mental image of violent rape, but a forced blowjob does weird her out?
    • She isn't. We are never shown what he thinks of to scare her (although it may be what the Clan did to "the girl about your age one time"), but the blowjob is her REACTION to his mental threat, complying with his lusts, but even then it is implied she did it just so she could turn the tables with the freaky imagery of Ma-Ma biting his junk off.

  • What's the deal with the people in the block's control room? They live in a 200 story vertical slum, controlled by a vicious gang lead by a ruthless prostitute-turned-drug dealer. And they sleep in the middle of the day? Without at least locking the door? Seriously?
    • Like many in Mega City One, they're Too Dumb to Live. That and just sitting in a control room is incredibly boring.
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    • They probably did lock the door; professional criminals can break into a room easily enough. And you're forgetting that the Crapsack World they live in is normal to them, encouraging apathy and fatalism.
    • No one has had a reason to take over the building's controls before, and they don't expect things to suddenly change. Since Ma-Ma could get inside no matter what security they put up, the only security they would need would be to deter common hoodlums. The hospital has security because it contains drugs and other valuable supplies, but the control room has nothing to steal. The control room operatives had no reason to suspect that Ma-Ma would suddenly want to raid them.

  • "Control", for most of the movies, responds to threats in a rather half-assed manner. They never be alert for scenarios like "gang has taken over the block's control room" and never require any form of identification or authentication. They happily agree to ignore "false alarms" from a whole block just by one person saying they are "running a test". Surely they have a lot on their hands every single day, but what's the use of responding to crimes if you are not smart enough to spot the particularly serious ones?
    • As Dredd has stated before, the Justice Department can only respond to 6% of all crimes daily. And given the state of the city, it probably wasn't the first time it's happened.
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    • It's possible that Clan Techie is authorized, and his voice print was on file as approved to issue such requests. The film doesn't specify who he was or what job he had before Ma-Ma terrorized him into working for her; she may have targeted him because he worked for the block's control center, explaining how he knew the building's systems so well.
    • The gang soldiers kill everyone in the control room and plug in a relay, so the call would have been seen as coming from there.

  • Why did the gang aim the miniguns at chest level when they tried to take down Judge Dredd, Anderson and Kay? And after shooting they even proudly concluded "No One Could Survive That!". It was clear that most of the bullets didn't hit anything that's below chest level. A kid even survived thanks to being too short for the bullets to hit. Did they assume everyone was holding the Idiot Ball as they were?
    • Miniguns aren't exactly an accurate weapon, and you can't aim lower than chest level when they're mounted on tripods. You can aim down, but the back wall would be free of fire. You could swivel, but this would hit more floors where your targets definitely aren't. The bullet spread was wide enough, and their volume of fire great enough, that they could logically kill pretty much every living thing on the floor under most circumstances.
      • You have only seen videogame miniguns - actual miniguns are surprisingly accurate. Also, the ones in the film could clearly swivel, and did.
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    • And they didn't just assume No One Could Survive That!. They went looking for bodies. One guy even states that unless they find something, Dredd and Anderson are still alive.
    • They're coming down from a massive power and adrenaline rush, as I imagine most people who're probably juiced up on all kinds of things and have just committed a massive violent felony by firing mini-guns into the walls of an apartment block and almost certainly killed a whole bunch of people would be likely to experience.

  • How does Anderson's psychic power work? If she has to consciously "turn it on" to detect hostile thoughts, wouldn't it be wise to turn it on most of the time, or at least for the ones that is closest to her? She wouldn't have been taken hostage if she closely monitor Kay's thought.
    • She was distracted at the time, which allowed Kay to get the drop on her.
    • Plus leaving it on all the time would probably be extremely distracting and possibly erode her sanity.

  • Why was Anderson taken hostage with her own weapon? Don't they have a DNA lock on their sidearms? Why didn't she disregard the gun to her head as ineffective?
    • If you mean in the elevator, The dude had his hand on top of hers on the trigger so she was still technically holding it and the gun would have fired normally.
      • That in itself is odd, since it sorta implies he was aware of the DNA lock, but later he was not.
      • He wasn't aware of anything, he did it like that because it was how he managed to grab ahold of her. It also meant he was keeping one of her hands restrained while simultaneously keeping the gun on her. It was pure luck (for him) that it would have actually worked that way.
    • And if not, it would have taken off her head anyway.
    • Even if Anderson disregarded the gun pointed at her head, Kay was physically stronger than her and had her in a choke-hold. Dredd didn't have time to carefully aim and kill Kay before he escaped- actually, by that point he was almost out of regular rounds anyway.
      • Except Dredd's gun was still set to "Stun" from taking down the two juveniles, so by rights he should've just shot both of them and then revived Anderson.
      • Depends on the side effects. It's possible Anderson would have been useless in a fight for awhile after a stun.
      • His stun charge could have been drained, as he doesn't try to use it against Lex. That and the comics version of the stun shot is unreliable. Dredd probably thought it wouldn't matter against a pair of juves who hadn't the stomach to shoot him in the first place, but against a hardened criminal like Kay, he didn't want to take the chance.

  • Why didn't Dredd take the magazine off the first corrupt Judge he killed? It can't take more than a couple of seconds and he had plenty of time before the latter's backup arrive. If he had done so he wouldn't have run out of ammunition and got gut-shot later.
    • Because he didn't have the time. Watch the film again; the one Judge's body has barely hit the ground before the other one comes around the corner.
      • He had PLENTY of time. He was able to smash the guy and stand there staring at him for several seconds - that he could have used to grab just ONE mag off the other Judge.
    • Because he's playing in hard mode. And because of the dramatic tension it generates.
    • They have explosives that go off if someone other than the lone authorized user tries to pull the trigger. Why wouldn't it also go off if you try to open it up and get at the official Judge ammo inside? As to taking rounds off his belt pouch... well, Dredd's not watching the movie, he doesn't know that the other turncoat Judges are directly behind the guy and coming up on him and that he has to, without pause, calmly take the ammo off this deceased traitorous brother-in-arms and go right towards the other enemies showing on his minimap. He was probably taking a moment to think "Hm. Bad Judge. When did he get here? How many? Was he the only bad one? Are there loyal Judges mixed in?" and a number of other questions that would naturally be running through his mind as he assessed the situation.
    • The corrupt Judge called for backup. Dredd had enough time to make sure the guy would die then leave. Even half-dead, giving the Judge a chance to delay him by trying to loot him would have been suicide.
    • Not to mention that the judge's gun fell down to another level.
    • The scene of the other Judges advancing on the position and finding their Judge dying was not necessarily after the fight scene with Dredd. It could have been simultaneous - Dredd kills the Judge, hearing the other two advancing as he does it, and makes a judgement call to move on rather than risk the chance of them rounding the corner and firing on him while he's trying to grab extra ammo off the dead Judge.
  • Why would you make a deadman's switch that has to set a detonation pulse to the bomb? Surely a deadman switch works by constantly sending a signal that will die with the user. That way Dredd's trick wouldn't work and he'd get blown up.
    • Because then the first momentary interruption of service will kill her and destroy everything she owns, and even Judge tech shorts out occasionally — much less the jury-rigged crap her outlaw techs are bashing together. Ma-Ma's crazy, not stupid.
      • I reckon this is either a huge plot hole or a major plot point. Dredd does not know that the deadman's switch isn't a constant transmitter that will trigger the explosives the moment Ma-Ma is out of range and the signal stops. So it's either something the audience just has to overlook, or it means Dredd is quite willing to risk his own life and that of many innocents.
      • Or Dredd, being far more familiar with future technology than the audience, does know that. After all, he seems to recognise what it is on sight. He's not one for explaining his motivations much, but his thesis seemed to be based on at least some knowledge of the detonator — which is only to be expected, under the circumstances.
      • Dredd actively estimates the range of the transmitter shortly after he's shot Ma-Ma in the stomach and before he tosses her out of the window - but he basically banks on the fact that so long as Ma-Ma is alive while she goes out of range, the transmitter will still work and not go off. It's just an easier method to throw her out the window rather than drag her down two hundred floors through - presumably - whatever's left of her gang.
      • Dredd does know that it's not a constant transmitter. Ma-ma says right off the bat that it's designed to send a signal to detonate the explosives if it detects that her heartbeat has stopped. She was so busy gloating that she didn't realise she'd tipped him off on how to work around her deadman's switch.

  • According to Dredd, there are tens of thousands of crimes in Mega-City One every single day, and the Judges only have the manpower to respond to around 6% of all that. Not much detail is given in the movie as to the absurd plethora of listed crimes in MC 1, but, knowing the comic's history, how many of these tens of thousands of crimes committed every day would we want to guess are minor, non-violent offenses like littering, smoking, or "reckless walking", which Dredd would comically treat just as seriously as more violent and destructive crimes but would still largely go ignored?
    • It's true that Dredd doesn't specify what his definition of "crime" is, though the violent crime rate would still be absurdly high due to cramming nearly a billion people into a single city.
      • But it still can't possibly be the only crime in the city, and if the violent crime rate would be much higher due to the city's conditions, so would the non-violent crime rate for many of the same reasons.
    • I think he said that tens of thousands of crimes were reported every day. Crimes like littering, jay walking, and petty vandalism probably aren't reported. They undoubtedly happen all the time, but Judges aren't called about them. Crimes like theft, assault, and murder are the most likely to be reported, and the Judges can only get to about 6% of those.
    • Also, Dredd starts off by mentioning how many major crimes are reported per minute (or some such), so it's safe to assume that the "tens of thousands" statistic is only the major ones. The minor crimes, reported or not, may be much, much higher in number (which is rather in keeping with the comics, really).

  • If Anderson has trouble reading minds while wearing a helmet, why does she have no problem reading the minds of Judges wearing the same?
    • It's probably just the difference between clarity and a garbled transmission. The Judge's killing intent would likely come through either way, Anderson just would have had a clearer picture.
    • The helmets might interfere with receiving thoughts but not broadcasting them, for whatever reason. It might even by psychosomatic/symbolic for Anderson... having something enclosing her head might make her feel as if her powers shouldn't work, so they don't.
    • Discomfort. Chinese Water Torture may not damage you, but it really can screw up your ability to concentrate. Few children wear helmets; possibly Anderson learned to control her telepathy best when she's unrestricted by headgear, as a child would be.
    • Or possibly it's not just thoughts she's picking up, but nervous system impulses in general. She could sense that the female Judge's nerves and spinal cord were ready to attack, belying the woman's amicable words.

  • Dredd and Anderson note they are running out of ammo and it becomes a plot point later. Neither of them even considers to pick up any of the guns used by Mooks they kill. Admittedly, those are common guns loaded with common bullets but in their situation you'd think they wouldn't be picky.
    • Losing your sidearm is an automatic fail. That's why Anderson wouldn't do it until she absolutely had to. As for Dredd, he may have been low on ammo but he wasn't out until he was out of reach of any immediate weapons that weren't keyed to a specific Judge.
    • Anderson arms herself with an SMG after she loses her Lawgiver and uses it until she retrieves her gun from Kay.
    • The guns carried by the mooks are evidence. Real Life police officers don't go around habitually using guns they've taken from dead perps for this reason. In Anderson's case, she's a rookie and one that was about to be flunked out of the academy. Good chance she's not familiar with every Justice Department procedure.
      • It's more likely that they were just avoiding using unknown, unreliable weaponry until they absolutely had to. Anderson absolutely had to, because her own gun was destroyed. If Dredd hadn't been able to pick up some convenient reloads he almost certainly would have picked up a discarded mook weapon rather than go unarmed on principle. He's devoted to the Law but he's not completely stupid.
      • re: 'evidence', remember that the simple act of shooting at a Judge is a summary execution offense. You don't really need to preserve evidence for a trial when your only 'trial' is going to be 'a Judge makes you kneel on the floor and then puts a round into the base of your skull'.
      • Dredd himself points out that summary executions aren't the preferred go-to. They do it numerous times in the movie because they're either in the middle of a firefight or they can't afford to leave enemy combatants behind. It's implied that they prefer to have at least a perfunctory trial back at Central where everything can be done by the book, nice and neat. As well, the weapons are evidence of much bigger crimes, namely Mama's drug ring.
      • Also, the guns may have been used by other gang members to commit as-yet-unsolved crimes to which the weapons can be matched, and might be useful to track down how the Ma-Ma Clan got hold of so much firepower in the first place.

  • What was Ma-Ma's plan with the detonator anyway? The obvious way to handle it would be to tie her up, call the bomb squad and after they disable the device - execute her.
    • It's a last ditch ploy for a reason, if it was a really good plan to make Dredd leave she would have used it before then. She's basically saying "I'm crazy enough to kill everyone here if you don't get the hell out", and desperately hoping that Dredd wasn't crazy enough to not leave. He was just, in fact, that crazy.
    • You're forgetting that just in the previous scene Dredd and Anderson were betrayed by a group of corrupt judges who tried to murder them. At that point he has no idea how many are in her pocket and wouldn't want to introduce new players to the game. So he takes the crazy road.
    • Given Dredd's vast years of experience, this probably isn't the first time someone's tried that on him. He probably knows the detonator's capabilities and believes Ma-Ma is bluffing.
    • To be honest, I expected Dredd to just shoot her with the stun rounds he used earlier so he could disable the trigger.
    • It's doubtful he had any stun rounds left, or he'd have used them on Lex.
      • He reloaded after killed Lex and Alvarez.
      • The stun round looks to be an electrical charge. It's not likely to be possible to just switch out the battery without a complete field strip. Hardly an ideal thing to be doing under the circumstances Dredd is in.
      • He also didn't have any reason to reload or recharge or whatever it is you do to replenish stun rounds. He'd made up his mind long before, and had even announced it to the entire megablock, that Ma Ma was a dead woman once he got to her.

  • Why was Kay alive to capture Anderson? The only reason Dredd didn't shoot him during the raid was because he didn't want to execute him on 99% confidence, and so ordered him taken in for questioning, with sentencing and possible execution to take place once he had confirmation. But after Anderson probed his mind, he had that confirmation - along with 100% evidence that he was involved in drug trafficking, which is apparently also a summary execution offense in Mega-City One. Dredd could have legally killed his suspect right then and been freed of all the problems of trying to guard a prisoner when he's busy fighting a war in which he's outnumbered 200:1. So why didn't he?
    • Kay has a lot of information in his head on Ma-Ma's drug syndicate and Anderson didn't have time to get it all. They went to milk him for all the testimony he can give, so the Justice Department can come in and clean-sweep the entire Slo-Mo syndicate. Fortunately, by movies' end Ma-Ma and most of her men have committed suicide by Judge Dredd anyway.
    • Also Anderson herself describes her certainty that Kay is the murderer as 99%. Why she's doubting what she just read in his mind in unclear, but it could be she's just admitting room for error.
    • Dredd may also have doubts about the whole idea of psychic testimony, alone, being the basis for a capital conviction. From the sound of things, it's a new practice for psychic Judges to be deployed in this particular adaptation, and policies for their powers' legal functions are still evolving. He'd prefer to find some material evidence and/or have Kay's guilt borne out by the man's own actions than rely solely on a rookie's mental talents.

  • Since when does rapid-fire require separate ammunition?
    • Rapid fire is just a complementary fire mode; it uses standard ammuntion, as opposed to explosive or incendiary. Which brings us to a more important question: How do so many bullets of different ammo types fit into such tiny magazines?
    • According to Word of God, the lawgiver in this film carries three magazines at once: Once in the pistol grip for standard rounds and the other two further up the gun with more specialist ammo. It seems that it can't carry many specialist rounds before reloading. Dredd uses one hotshot, one incendiary, two stun and two Hi-Ex rounds over the course of the film and has, presumably, used up his armour piercing load during the day (Lex uses three of them) before his lawgiver is completely out of ammo.
      • Watching the scene where Dredd cycles through the ammo types trying to find one that he's NOT out of features a nice closeup of the digital readout. Under that is captions with numbers preceding "AP", "IC" "HE" and "FMJ"- the ammo types used in the movie with the exception of Stun. In what is probably an error, the numbers are solidly all zeros-including for HE-until he orders up High Ex, at which point the numbers all change to 25 of each advanced type and 50 FMJ. Amazingly, this would mean a Lawgiver holds 125+ rounds of five ammo types in only three magazines! The display is also noted to read "SEMI", presumably meaning "Semi-Automatic"-oppose to "Full Automatic", aka Rapid Fire.

  • Why would you want a drug that slows your perception of time in such a Crapsack World?
    • It doesn't slow your perception of time, it heightens it - you essentially gain super-awareness from the drug. The problem is that your physical reflexes are not affected. As to why you would want to linger over moments in such a shitty world - well, a second of artificially induced peace and quiet is still a second of peace and quiet, and it's arguably more potent than smoking weed.
    • Presumably, it'd be great to take during sex.
    • Because it presumably makes you feel great and certainly makes everything look and seem cooler, and if there's anywhere that you might feel tempted to take something that makes you feel great and makes your surroundings seem better, it's a Crapsack World.
    • The basic idea apparently came from the writer finding that high frequency footage seemed to make anything, even something ordinary, suddenly seem elegent and beautiful. He based the concept that people living in a Crapsack World of constant ugliness and violence would find the ability to see just a little bit of beauty in the world around them enticing. The other factors mentioned about help too.

  • Why would Mega City One cover the Boston-to-DC corridor in a world where most everywhere else is a radioactive wasteland? If there was a global nuclear war, DC and New York would be two of the first places to get hit, as the primary political and economic centres of the United States. They'd be the most radioactive places in North America. Any new Mega Cities would be in Nebraska or Oklahoma or something, further from the blast radius. Yes, I know American authors gravitate to the eastern seaboard as the centre of the universe, but it's the opposite of what logic would indicate.
    • In the comics, they used a missile defence laser screen (As seen in both Origins and The Apocalypse War). Presumably, Mega City One in this movie's universe has something similar, as evidenced by Peach Trees' blast doors.
    • It's also worth noting that Judge Dredd and Mega City One were decidedly not created by American authors.
    • Actually, John Wagner is American born, but raised in Scotland from the age of 12.
      • Which means he knows as much about America as the average 12 year old.
    • In the comics Mega City One grows and shrinks over time. It's clear they have someway of clearing radiation from areas they want to build on, presumably the films world is the sam. So it makes sense for Mega City One to be built on the cost for the same reason so many real world cities are, access to the sea
    • Presumably in the world of Dredd they were sufficiently well-defended to prevent the bombs from getting through or the bombs failed to get through for whatever reason.
    • Because it's a not-strictly-realistic science fiction action movie. Rule of Cool, essentially.
    • Offutt Air Force Base would have been a primary target if the Cold War had turned nuclear. There's no Mega City in Nebraska because eastern Nebraska is a radioactive crater. For that matter, a lot of the missile silos that would have been launching during the war (and thus would be valid military targets) are in the central US; I don't know if they go as far south as Oklahoma but there were a lot in the Dakotas.

  • How did Anderson get out of her restraints? Kay goes to shoot her and her gun blows half his arm off: very satisfying. She then stands up, her hands still cuffed behind her back, and boots him in the face: great. In the next shot, she's got free of her cuffs. Just wondering how she did that. I know there are ways you can free yourself from rope or cable ties, but wouldn't it have taken her a little while to do that? And if she was restrained with something stronger, how did she get out of it?
    • She may have used the knife on the table, the one Kay handled before picking up her family photo.
    • If you pause right as Anderson roundhouse kicks Kay in the face, you can see that her hands are ziptied. Once he was incapacitated, she could either grab the knife on the table to cut herself loose, or get her arms in front of her just like how Kay did earlier, at which point it's very easy to break out of a ziptie if you know how (There are more than a few youtube videos on the subject).

  • How does a career criminal like Kay not know that Judges carry guns that explode when the wrong person tries to use them? Considering how many cops get disarmed and shot with their own guns in fights with criminals in real life, you gotta figure this must have happened at some point in mega-city, at which point the gun would blow up and the word would go out around the criminal underworld that it's not safe to use a judge's handgun. Kay even says "I've seen a lot of judges in my time." You'd think he'd know how their guns work by now.
    • Two reasons, the Judges are a lot less worried about collateral damage than real world cops so there a lot less opportunities to be disarmed in the kind of fights that get cops disarmed in our more litigious society. Second one is that the Judges are only able to respond to around 6% of reported crimes so chances are good that most Mega City criminals have never even seen a judge unless it was from a distance much less had a chance to disarm one. Also, most Judges are competent at 99% of their cases, so those who HAVE seen a Judge tend to be spending a LONG time in the Iso-Cubes...

  • What did Dredd mean when he said to Ma-Ma "defense noted"? That she was not in her right mind? That she was already dead inside?

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