Table of contents

Judge Dredd

A note about the just man

Judge Dredd is a great believer in the law. He lives in a world where the difference between life & death is easy to understand. Who obeys the laws is not killed by the judges. But what about those killed otherwise? What justice do they get? Dredd is fearless & so does not understand other people’s fears. He knows people always say they are innocent. Does that mean they are always guilty?

One day, he convicts a coward hiding in a robot to five years in jail. The coward objects: What else could I have done? Jump out the window! But that’s suicide! Well, it is legal. How imprudent, how blind to man’s mortality justice seems. In the sequel, Dredd himself is wrongly convicted of murder. The criminal he convicted is amused to no end by the coincidence of their going to jail together. He calls it poetic justice.

Dredd is exiled; he sees what mankind is without the law. A family of cannibals. Perhaps their awareness of the good blinds them to everything else. Of course, hunger is a necessity. Obeying it is excusable. Is not the basic good survival? This apparently prepares him to learn about himself. He once judged his brother – condemned him to death. That’s how far his love of justice goes, he protects the city more than the family.

Dredd thus learns about family & the city. The police always believe they are brothers. Now, the science of genetics can make them brothers. The cannibal family have a robot among them. Dredd’s enemy brings a robot with him. There is a question whether these new brothers, created by science, would be under control. Who would they obey? Who would be their master?

His brother suggests they should obey him, because he is admirable. His reputation, his example would be enough. But what would his reputation be if he acted like his brother? Once he abandons the laws, what would make him look immortal? The desire to be a god rather than to obey the goddess of justice forces his brother to make man again, in his own image. Dredd points out a problem: He always lacked self-control. This willfulness makes law impossible. He could not be obeyed, even if he wanted.

Men & gods cannot walk the streets together. We see the goddess of justice twice. In the beginning & the end, she is the Statue of Liberty. We enter the city in the beginning – she is there. In the middle, she is a bound statue in the cannibals’ cave. The men they capture are also bound there; the men they roast to eat. Justice stands for man’s freedom. Freedom means abiding by the laws.

A must for action movie fans