Dredd (2012)

Source: eOne Films: Blu-ray, 2017.

Year: 2012

Director: Pete Travis

Action Stars

Karl Urban

Lena Headey

Genre: Science Fiction

Country: United Kingdom

Story Duration: 01:28:17

Act Duration:

1st Act: 00:23:13

2nd Act: 00:26:08

3rd Act: 00:21:43

4th Act: 00:17:13

Plot Turns:

1st: Key captured

2nd: Dredd calls in for assistance

3rd: Anderson escapes

ASD Ratio: 56%

AAD Ratios:

1st Act: 46%

2nd Act: 44%

3rd Act: 64%

4th Act: 89%

Action Structure: 1234

Action Scenarios








Total Action Moments: 29

1. Peach Trees as y-axis setting.
2. Downward plummet of rival drug dealers.
3. Dredd as judge and executioner.
4. Ma-Ma’s hallucinatory slo-mo descent.
Action Structure

Notable Action Sequence: Ma-Ma Executed

Duration: 00:07:33

Act: 4th

Action Scenarios:




Description: Dredd (2012) is a dystopian sci-fi action film historically placed in an unspecified future. It also is noteworthy for staging action along the y-axis, a feature representative of a broader trend that film scholar Kristen Whissel described as the new verticality in contemporary cinema. Central to the staging of action along the vertical axis is the fact the film is primarily set in Peach Trees, a 200 floor mega-block in which Ma-Ma, a drug lord, controls and distributes slo-mo, a hallucinatory drug [Figure 1]. The film is bookended through notable falls, a variant of the speed scenario. The first consists when Ma-Ma orders the skinning of three rival drug dealers, who are subsequently tossed down into the atrium of the building while high on slo-mo to serve as a deterrent to other competing gangs [Figure 2]. This punishment is mirrored at the film’s climax when Judge Dredd sentences Ma-Ma to death, forces her to inhale slo-mo, and shoves her through a window, as her downward descent is rendered through a hallucinatory aesthetic [Figure 3 and 4]. Her fall is an aestheticization of her death, but is also an instance of the well-worn convention of villainous antagonists who meet their sticky end through a precipitous plummet.


Whissel, Kristen. 2014. Spectacular Digital Effects: CGI and Contemporary Cinema. Durham: Duke University Press.

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