Almost Human- Episode 6

Out of order. But it just got put up!

This episode begins in a hospital. A holograph is giving medical advice. It freezes up. The man, being told he’s likely having a neurological issue with 13 percent of …something, is understandably upset and grabs the first human hospital worker that he can find.

But he’s not the villain or the victim here. There’s another man. A man with a gun. He holds the woman hostage and insists that he needs a heart surgeon and life support. He yells in Cantonese that it’s almost 9:18. And at 9:18, he dies of a heart attack. Apologizing to the doctor and saying, “They killed me. They killed me.”

Kennex and Dorian respond. Along the way Dorian see a DRN model working in the hospital. They were designed to be Police Officers, but that one has been repurposed. Dorian is unsettled and insists on taking the other DRN on a ride along. ..He also gives him his case files back… and access to the police data base. It comes to light when the DRN tackles a man on the street (a criminal who had already served his time but shows as wanted on the DRNs outdated case files.) during this an MX gets crushed into an SUV by a police drone, a truck rolls over a hydrant and other unfortunate events. Maldonado flips.

Kennex is bothered. But Dorian explains that when he was decommissioned, the moment before, all he thought was, “I hope someone wakes me up.” And Kennex did.

The other DRN tags along for the rest of the episode. A memorable highlight is when Dorian is showing off his new mods, including a long range camera in his eye that he drops in Kennex’s coffee.


Through Rudy they track the origins of the Chinese man’s black market heart. And they find a manufacturer. Part of it isn’t theirs. The woman representing the company says it “voids the warranty.”

But the heart wasn’t for this man. It was implanted in a woman who died. Kennex goes and sees the man at the crematorium where the synthetic heart should have been destroyed. That worker, Henry, easily confesses that inorganic parts have to be removed (“they mess up the machine”) but that he gives the hearts to someone who refurbishes them, he calls himself Oscar. They arrange for Oscar to make a pickup. The container has a tracking device and transmitter. They follow the heart to a warehouse where the Doctor has already began a transplant on a woman named Amelia. 

They save Amelia (Kennex always saves the ladies).She is not pleased. She needs they heart to live, but she doesn’t know they have been modified of course. But even is that were the case, she still would have paid. How can you put a price on your life? On time with your family?

Under interrogation: The courier knows nothing. The doctor didn’t know that the modifiers were timers. He thought they ran remote diagnostics. The organizer, Karen, calls Henry and tell him to shut everyone down. The patients call in, they try to make their payments. But no one answers. 2 others die.

the 4 victims were all denied transplants for lack of insurance and denied by the same person.

The same woman they spoke with earlier. The doctor says she wasn’t the one who approached him. Dorian notices that her assistant is missing, Jacinta. They show the doctor a photo of Jacinta… sure enough, it’s her.

Through a series of inferences. Kennex realizes that this has been going on for 3 years, but they hadn’t been finding any bodies. And who do they know who gets rid of bodies? Henry. (who has killed Jacinta) After that it’s just a matter of chasing him down and it’s over.

This was a good episode all around. Dorian adopting the other DRN. Dorian and Kennex’s buddy cop quibbling about who will drive.The uses of real and imagined technology. Technology that could be used for good but that is manipulated to keep people rich. The doctor who though he was really helping people while they were being extorted. Maldonado flipping her lid over the extra DRN was pretty rad, too.

Getting to be a bore, though? Stahl having no part in the action.. Although, she did make a connection between the patients. Once again putting together a crucial piece of the puzzle. And then being a smiley do-gooder over the fact that the makers of the synthetic hearts was going to give anyone who received hearts with the illegal mods free transplants. She smiles about how happy she is for Amelia and her family ..during the investigation another man and woman died when they couldn’t get through to make a payment. I would say that’s far from a fairytale ending.

Almost Human: Episode 7

A solar flare has knocked out power. There are generators but they are experiencing rolling blackouts. Everything is rationed including charging the androids. 

Detective Paul AKA Captain Energy is giving Kennex shit about his fake leg not getting top priority.

In fact, he gives the MXs charging priority. And the DRN freaks out. He punches Det. Paul (who was obviously left in charge solely because Lilli Taylor getting punched by Michael Ealy wouldn’t be funny.) Dorian didn’t even get half a charge. He calls it a social injustice. 

Elsewhere; A man gets gassed by a window washer with a can of spraypaint and then he wakes up with a robot collar -it’s a bomb… a bomb with a camera. A robotic voice asks him if he’s “ready to play” he is instructed to open a briefcase (there’s a gun inside) and he is instructed to go back to the bank where he works. A woman nervously greets him, “Ramon, you’re back” and asks him about the collar, he panics and holds her up. He makes the coworker hand over the cash.

Kennex and Dorian rush to the bank when they get the call that there is a robbery in progress.

A display counts viewers… the man is up to more than 3,400 when Dorian and Kennex tell him that they are too late and there is nothing they can do. They put a shield up around him to contain the blast. 

They find cameras all over the car. And a Bitcoin. 

What’s a Bitcoin?

Thanks !

Stahl reports that cybercrimes saw the video and that it streamed live. 

Kennex stops to visit Rudy who is recreating the bomb. He also takes that opportunity to ask Rudy if Dorian is about to have one of those meltdowns that got the DRNs commissioned. Rudy decides not… but says it depends on his activity level (not entirely reassuring that Dorian won’t get to the brink).

The … hacker? villainous social media mastermind? picks his next victim. And successfully baits Kennex into having to be the hero. The victim is a 20 something girl who works for her father at a flower shop. The criminal orders flowers, drugs her, slaps the collar on her and gives her instructions. Kennex and Dorian show up as viewers tune in. She says that the guy who did it: his name is Simon. They met online. The viewers say that he gave Jeannie too much time. 

The creep villain lunatic is your typical emo hacker nerd stalker. Tropes tropes. 

Dorian’s charge starts getting too low, he’s having a hard time diffusing the bomb. He tells Kennex to put up the shield. He doesn’t. He decides to help with the bomb. As the clock ticks lower and lower comments come pouring in, “Cops gonna die now!!!” and “YOLO” (no one will say ‘YOLO’ in 2038!)

They successfully save the girl.

Kennex always saves the girl. The men explode. 

Anyway. Now they’ve got a clue, an unstable Dorian, a snarky and cocky Kennex and they head off to find the emo loser murderer stalker fuckhead, Simon Lynch. 

An explosion goes off where they should have been apprehending the bad dude and the fumes knock Kennex out. (they knew this guy had the gas… why no gas masks?)

Kennex wakes up on a park bench… with a bomb collar… and he’s shackled to the bench. He enthusiastically answers Lynch’s call. Kennex is given tools, an opportunity to save himself. Disarm his own bomb. Maldonado, Stahl and co see the footage. The cops arrive. A sniper gets into position… But Lynch has a deadman switch (which, in case this is the first cop show you’ve ever watched: means that is Lynch lets go then the bomb detonates). Kennex break a tool and has to use a token. Meanwhile Lynch tells Kennex that he knows about Kennex’s psych eval and that they aren’t that different (yes you are. You strap bombs to people, asshole). Lynch failed a psych eval that got him kicked out of the police academy and then he tried to take out a loan to open up a bar but he couldn’t because the mark on his record followed him around. (Hence killing the loan officer)

Kennex is fumbling and trying to diffuse the bomb while Dorian scales the building to try to take down Lynch and take over the deadman switch. Which he does of course. And Kennex neutralized the bomb just as Dorian powers down.

Back at the station, Kennex fesses up to Maldonado. Lynch got to him about one thing. Kennex can sympathize, he sees that people at the station look at him differently now like he’s a ticking time bomb. He recognizes that if it wasn’t for Maldonado he wouldn’t be there.And she flatters him by telling him what an asset he is.

Issues with this episode: Stahl still sidelined. Why?!

Lack of real suspense: Really, like Kennex was going to die?

Using “evil side of social media” as a way to say that people are disconnected from humanity. It’s excessive. And the internet can bring people together.

Which is why I am also going to call out: of course! The girl met the twisted sociopath on an online dating site. PANIC! Is this Degrassi?

Or is this SAW 45? Because that’s where this plot came from.

And no one calls out anyone else for tiptoeing around Dorian because the other DRN’s went nuts? Really? Only Kennex gets sympathy for that one.

And mind you, episode one he was having flashbacks and this really hasn’t been revisited since.

Not the triumphant return that it could have been. We need to get back to Kennex trying to figure out what really happened to his partner. And Stahl needs to be involved.

Almost Human: Episode 5

John gets startled by an MX’s lack of genitalia. Dorian assures him he was made more realistically

An RN and a “petite psychic” are testifying against a suspected murderer: Ethan Avery… as is Captain Maldonado. Fearing for the girls’ safety, Maldonado is present in the court room but the other two are testifying by hollogram from a safe house. While testifying the RN, Hayley Jolene, is suddenly startled, Maldonado realizes that the safe house has been compromised. She’s right. Hitmen bust in and splatter poor Hayley, our “petite psychic” jumps out a window and makes a run for it. They find a clue leading to Ethan Avery as the culprit.

Maldonado confronts him. He tries to get in her head. 

The psychic, Maya, says that she’s in communication with Hayley’s spirit. “Real Cop” Kennex doesn’t buy in. Turns out she had the Cerrebellex procedure a procedure that makes people more intuitive and sensitive to spiritual anomalies. Or something. But anyway she says that Hayley is speaking to her and that she says that Ethan Avery killed her.

But Ethan Avery was in jail.

But wait! Rudy shows up with some gadgets and plays a recording of the murder. The machine interprets that the sounds are made by vocal chords… not a recording. And that those vocal chords belong to Ethan Avery.

But how can this be?!

It’s 16 minutes in and I know how this ends. Clones.

Stahl thinks it’s an identical twin.*facepalm*

Then Stahl puts 2 and 2 together and remembers that the Doctor Fuller that Avery was on trial for killing was a reproductive doctor. And cloning is reproductive.

Maya flies the coop from the station to speak with Hayley’s parents.

While transporting Maya, Kennex, Dorian and Maya get shot up by masked men in a van. Maya gets shot. John takes down one of the hitmen. Sure enough: It’s Ethan Avery. Only 10 years younger.

Maya winds up with a broken collar bone and possible internal bleeding. Without her there is no one to connect Avery to Fuller. Dorian goes with Maya to the hospital and they have a heart to heart. She had the Cerrebellex procedure to reconnect with her parents who died right before her 19th birthday. But while she was recovering from the procedure her house burnt to the ground. Without anything of theirs to touch she was never able to reach them. 

Meanwhile Stahl goes to look for files at Fuller’s home. Records that Avery was one of his subjects/patients/lab rats. (Because she doesn’t know that Kennex already proved Avery had clones) And John figures out how Avery tracked Maya, but doesn’t communicate with Stahl in time. So the clones show up at Fuller’s house and take down her MX.

And now she is a hostage.

Stahl tells them to call Kennex. She says that he won’t negotiate, even for her. Stahl tries to convince the clones that the real Avery has been holding them hostage. Clone Avery thinks Stahl is special to Kennex and that he will negotiate.

Maldonado agrees to fork over Avery. 

But through elaborate and cool technological trickery they con the clones. Stahl also gets to flex her muscles. Dorian flips the van and the last of the clones go up in flames. Maldonado givens Ethan Avery and epic smackdown speech and then a sexy male lawyer gives her a compliment. Dorian gives Maya a box from evidence, from the investigation into the fire at Maya’s home. She touches a door knob and both smiles and cries and greets her parents at long last.

Earlier in the episode Maya gave Kennex advice about his angry red aura that repells everyone except one person and bourbon. Stahl walks in with a bottle of Bourbon from her desk, pours drinks for both of them and keeps him company.

Stahl and Kennex get a little bit closer!

Did Stahl really have to get held hostage the first time we see her out in the field alone? Especially since she “found the connection” but John had it proved already because he shot one down. So the brute stuff appears more effective than the brain stuff. Awesome… right…

Maldonado continues to be a bad ass. I like that even though Avery got under her skin it didn’t lead to some whirlwind of self-doubt. Maldonado proved herself effective, smart and willing to go the extra mile for those she considers friends and those who work for her.

Dorian gets to show how human he is. Not because of …ahem… physical features, but because he is caring and intuitive.

Almost Human: Episode 3

Are You Recieving?

John hops out of bed and puts on his fake leg, he rubs olive oil at the point of attachment, and it seems to be calibrating more easily than usual. 

Elsewhere: A man delivers a package to a woman in an office, he walks out and is stopped by a man with a gun who asks him only his name. James. After being shot dead: said dude with gun and posse break into a server room and put a device in the floor.

We cut back to John and Dorian who are bickering. John is late, he tries to trick Dorian into doing robot stuff to heat up his coffee. Dorian says he knows that the olive oil trick is helping him with his fake leg, John answers that he had a greek salad. At ten AM. Dorian doesn’t buy it.

They get a call. The head over to the building and watch the security footage. The men went up to the 25th floor, disabled the elevator and never left the building. John and Dorian take the stairs while the main bad guy threatens Jenna. Then they set off the device that blows a crater in the middle of the building. 

“I love that you wear your insubordination like it’s a virtue.” -Dorian. Captain Maldonado tells John and Dorian not to pursue the perps til they know what they are dealing with. Back up isn’t there yet. John’s thinking of a plan in the stairway.

Jenna’s sister, Paige, is making an emergency call, all outgoing transmissions are jammed, Dorian intercepts her call. (After replicating a females voice and speaking Portuguese for the previous caller, Dorian replicates John’s voice, says he’s an automated police officer with a difficult personality.) While on the line, the bad guys shoot a hostage. Then they chuck him off the roof with a note that says “No Cops, Stay Out.”

Then they send in a negotiating drone. Interesting.

Bad dudes want a “fission igniter” a trigger mechanism for large explosives.

Back at the station, they uncover that the men are part of a terrorist cell and have done this before. They aren’t afraid to take lives or lose them. 

Greeted by gunfire, John and Dorian pursue and take down one man. At first he seems to be a member of the aforementioned radical terrorist group. But on second look, he’s a common crook wearing a facemaker. Dorian reveals that he has been damaged and will not be able to walk in 5 minutes. John picks a QTip out of the garbage he also has fingernail clippers, he is supposed to be cutting the “magenta tendon” but goes for the one that’ lavender. 

Paige calls back to say that the men keep going to a corner window. And that Jenna is crying, one of the men keeps going over to her. Meanwhile, John is performing surgery on Dorian and patches him up with gum. One of the men that John and Dorian shot reports back and they send more men to cover the stairs. Paige decides that she needs to be with her sister and leaves the utility closet to blend with the crowd. She leaves her phone transmitting so John can still hear.

The igniter is ready for delivery. 

Paige plants the phone in a pile of confiscated phones after asking to use the bathroom. 

The “igniter” passes the initial scan, John and Dorian discover the group is using basically light graffiti to communicate outside. After calculating what’s in the area, the 2 detectives discover that it’s a palladium heist. The men activate another bomb and are set to kill all but 3 hostages.

John decides they are going straight up. Dorian tells John it won’t work. John says he doesn’t have a choice. But it is Dorian who actually doesn’t have a choice. He was created to protect humans. “Dorian. You’ve been shot. You’re head’s full of bubblegum. You can’t do this.” But he does. Climbs up elevator cables, through air ducts and busts in shooting. He takes down several of the men before the main guy gets the drop on him. John busts in with the face maker and tricks them and saves Dorian.

They secure the hostages and dismantle the bomb, unjam the transmissions and the day is saved.

“Come on, let’s go get some noodles.” -John

“You’re aware that I don’t eat.” -Dorian

“Perfect. I’m buying.” -John

And something about that whole exchange reminded me of Blade Runner and Deckard eating noodles at the White Dragon Noodle house.


Episode 3 was really great, more bonding between the partners, John treating Dorian as human. The important questions… how human is human? Dorian is created with empathy, with goals, with interests. Designed to form bonds, comfort, care. He faces off with humans who lack empathy, who are motivated by money and drugs and violence. Dorian is more human. Dorian didn’t want to die, and importantly, John didn’t want him to die either. After the death of his last partner (which he blamed largely on the MX model automated officers) he thought of Dorian facing the same fate and didn’t discount him as a machine doing what he was designed for.

And Dorian talks about it later, says he didn’t want to die. (Something else that this show has in common with Blade Runner, other than the noodles), the DRN models would go berserk in the end, because they were created to be “more human than human” (or Almost Human, whatever) but then are also seen as “less than’ as disposable, as dangerous. And they just want to live, just like the rest of us.

And that last scene, with Dorian singing “Benny and the Jets”? HILARIOUS!

Can’t get enough? Check out this interview with Karl Urban where he talks about futurism, humanity and developing characters over 22 episodes vs. 2 hours. 

Almost Human: episodes 1 + 2


So the plot of this show, taking place in 2048 is essentially the plot of Dredd, which also starred Karl Urban. Which is fine, I like Dredd, Drugs have taken over schools and streets and cops are given robot reinforcements to help fight drug lords and violent gangs.

Karl Urban is there, as detective John Kennex with his robot back-up who he is arguing with because his robot does not understand the value of human life, he only understands odds, statistics. He does everything he can to save his partner but in the end they are blown to bits by the criminals they were pursuing. 

He’s getting some controversial treatments after being through the trauma and then a 17 month coma.

John gets called in to investigate following an armed robbery. His leg got blown off and he has a mechanical leg. 785 has been assigned to him. He wants a human partner but he is told by Lisa from Six Feet Under that robot partners are mandatory. She shows him the robbery video and points out why she thinks it’s connected to Syndicate. 

Richard, a fellow officer, blames John for getting his partner killed in the raid. He disobeyed instructions… blah blah.

While at the crime scene he has a flashback to the day his partner was killed. The MX says he thinks John had a seizure and he’s going to report what he saw. John says there’s nothing to report (which there is and isn’t) and it goes on from there until John pushes the bot out of the speeding car.

Saying his MX bust have experienced a software malfunction, he goes to get a new one (one who isn’t accusing him of getting black market medical treatment) and they give him a robot that got scrapped, one that was closer to human.

Dorian was decommissioned 4 years ago. “I express most data conversationally, man.” 

Richard calls the new team 2 from the scrap heap. 

Criminals in the same masks as in the robbery kidnap an detective Vogel and destroy his MX and John questions a suspect who was injured in the robbery. He shot himself to get away from the Syndicate. John threatens to throw Dorian out of the car. 

The suspect makes himself vomit and pulls a small explosive out of his stomach and sticks it on the back of the toilet.

They go to find Vogel and Dorian disobeys the MX models. Finding an elaborate trip wire and set up John knows they’ve been tricked. The tries to call in to Patel who is transporting the suspect. 

They gas Vogel right in front of him.

the suspect escapes.

MX units are made to feel nothing, Dorian wasn’t created that way. He read the file where John blamed the MX for leaving his partner behind to save others. 

Vogel was a test, the gas is designed to target cops. John heads to his doctor to undergo more treatment to remember what he needs to know about Syndicate to stop them from targetting police. While in the chamber, he recovers a memory, his girlfriend who disappeared while he was comatose was there. She was a member of Syndicate. Dorian busts in and gives him a shock to the heart. Saves his life.

Over noodles in the rain Dorian says he really did it for himself. If John were dead, he would be back to the scrap heap. John’s just lucky that he wants to be a cop so badly.

They discuss the differences in programming between MXs and Dorian’s type. John decides that they should recover the memory from Vogel’s MX’s memory and give it to Dorian because he can make the connection. Which he does, and they find that Syndicate is planning to hit the police evidence locker TONIGHT. 

Syndicate drops the MXs but Dorian, who runs on a different frequency, stays up. Evidence files get destroyed but John and Dorian save the lives of the human officers and apprehend a man high up in Syndicate.

Thanks to John and his DRN bot, lives are saved and Richard (and other haters) have no choice but to acknowledge this.


A “bang bot” or a female robot designed specifically for sexual purposes is having tests performed on her while she flirts with a man. They are being watched and someone becomes concerned when they see she is not being used for her intended purposes. After he cuts a piece of her hair, 2 Albanian men bust in and kill the man performing the tests then they explode a DNA bomb so that there will be no traces of evidence that are not tainted. 

The man killed was an inventor, Sebastian Johns. He invented the first “sex robot” (used some of the same tech from the DRN models to make them more empathetic to the need and wishes of their partners. 

John and Dorian are showing off how cool they are to kids. Dorian shows them his glowing electrical veins under his skin… John stabs himself in his synthetic leg… the kids freak. Shocker.

They investigate the murder. The men’s faces show up as flashes of light on the security cameras, the girl shows up, the test for DNA wherever she touches on the footage and she is leaving behind traces of DNA from a 25 year old woman who was abducted from a parking garage. There have been 3 other cases that follow this pattern. The latest one was witnessed by the woman’s young child. 

John decides to show off that he can be good with kids, he gives a miniature giraffe that moves like a real giraffe to the boy, Victor, and tells him that he trusts him to take care of it, but that he needs him to be brave and tell him what he remembers with his mom. He remembers a big silver car- they find the car on security cameras with stolen plates. But atleast now they have a lead.

Sebastian Johns was being sued by his former business partner. John and Dorian go to see him. The company went bankrupt because their largest investor- Albanian business men- backed out. They said they could “cut out the middle man” but he finds it hard to believe anyone could make a bot as realistic as theirs. Of the Albanians he says, “They were good clients and they always paid on time,” that’s all he’s willing to say. 

Dorian hacks in and they find the connection. Then they head to the club and test the bots for human DNA. John is approached and asked if they want a bot. Special rate for cops.

The others have tracked the sedan to a warehouse and Detective Kennex and Dorian are dispatched. 

Dorian, noticing that John is attracted to the female robots, creates a profile for John on a dating website (his testicles were at maximum capacity). John describes what he wants in a woman and pretty much describes detective Stahl. who, speaking of, calls to say they’ve found the suspect’s vehicle. They get on the scene and find Vanessa, a sex robot who tests positive for human DNA, a woman named Lorraine who was abducted from a parking garage. Dorian is visibly upset because he knows that Vanessa is illegal and that she also has emotions the way Dorian does.

They attempt to question her for information but that doesn’t work out, so they access her data and find she was first activated in Kingston Heights. They raid Kingston Heights and find 2 of the 3 recently abducted women (including Victor’s mom) alive.

Dorian learns that Vanessa has to be deactivated but chooses to go and comfort her as it happens. John confronts his past and goes to see his former partner’s widow and son. 

There’s a ton going on here in the first two episodes, I’m glad we got further away from the “war on drugs” plotline from the first episode. I like Dorian, he’s caring, brave, determined to be a cop… but also missing many social cues while being tuned in meticulously on other levels. The idea of robots with empathy isn’t totally unique, but I think it’s really interesting that the police force was largely more comfortable with the MX models as opposed to the DRN, more inclined to use the models that played the odds, those that they don’t have to care about or feel anything for. That distance between the “authority” and other humans. It’s also very telling that the DRN models were decommissioned because they “snapped.” As robots given agency and empathy they process complex emotions but are still treated as “things” and not as people, those they risked their lives for and connected with considered them “less than.” Dorian was very concerned about who will remember him when he is gone while still worrying that he will end up back in the heap again and then witnessing Vanessa, a robot programmed to form connections, meet a cruel fate. 

Movie Review #13- Dredd (2012)

Look at this cover:


Bet you can’t tell that this movie is jam packed with feminist awesomesauce.

(and decently nuanced social commentary)

Plot Synopsis

The future America is an irradiated wasteland. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One – a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge – a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of “Slo-Mo” experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed. 

During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson, played by Olivia Thirlby, a rookie with powerful psychic abilities thanks to a genetic mutation. She’s repeatedly failed the exam to be a judge after being taken in by the justice system (which is what happens to all orphans).

A heinous, gory and special effects laden crime calls Dredd, played by Karl Urban (action hero extraordinaire 10 times over in Riddick, Doom, Star Trek, Xena: Warrior Princess and the upcoming Almost Human), and his fledgling to a neighborhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture – a 200 story vertical slum, Peach-Trees, controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma, played by the awesome Lena Headey (of the Sarah Connor Chronicles, 300, Game of Thrones and recently, a box office flop that I enjoyed Mortal Instruments), and her clan. When they capture one of the clan’s inner circle, Ma-Ma overtakes the compound’s control center and declares a bounty on the pair of judges. All of the Peach-Trees residents are locked in and hostage until Ma-Ma gets what she wants; two dead judges.

Now Ma-Ma doesn’t care which residents live or die as long as she gets what she wants. Which is simple: to not get busted. Anderson (the fledgling) grew up in a slum and is trying to reduce the casualties to the good people that unfortunately live in this shit hole, and Dredd wants to dispense justice. Dredd doesn’t care that the people could starve there for their non-compliance with Ma-Ma, he’s the law and they should abide by the law, unconditionally.

Anderson is trying to behave like a Judge. For those who attempt to kill a Judge the sentence is death. She uses her mutant psychic powers to barge into the apartment of a woman who tells the pair the location of a secret elevator so that they will get the hell off her floor and away from her family.

“Don’t thank me, I just don’t want to see you again.”

Anderson plays a game with their captive: My fucked up head versus your fucked up head, that makes the hardened criminal pee his pants.


Ambushed by a couple of kids. Their criminal gets the upper hand on Anderson and brings her to Ma-Ma.


Intent on making it look like a bust gone wrong, and one not involving them, Ma-Ma instructs: “No torture, no raping no skinning, just a bunch of bullets to the head and to the chest. Do you understand me?”

But they still don’t have Dredd. Amidst escalating violence they clan decides to call… 911. Other Judges show up to take Ma-Ma’s money and take on Dredd and Anderson. Bloodshed, broken necks, outlandish explosives and stapling together bullet wounds together ensue.

It was gritty, visually amazing, fun and frankly, pretty damn clever.

Dredd enforces the law as it’s written, something Anderson hasn’t proved she can comply with (which, given the absolute assurance of violence, isn’t such a bad thing) but the other Judges can be bought and sold. Something our main protags could never comply with.

The females in this story: Ma-Ma and Anderson, have their own sense of justice, separate from that of the government which has failed them both (and is failing all of Mega City One). Anderson wants to become a Judge, even though it’s clear from the beginning that the justice system has failed her both as a mutant and an orphan, how far is she willing to go? Is she willing to negate her sense of justice to distribute “justice”?

Ironically named Ma-Ma there’s not a shred of sympathy or softness towards those who stand in her way. But how else is she supposed to make money in this wasteland? Out of reasonable options, her reactions may be extreme, but it beats starving to death. Besides, Was Slo-Mo really hurting anyone? She turns their war on drugs turns into a real war. While I find it hard to sympathize… she’s undeniably badass.


5 Stars!

If you are reading this today: Give it a watch, stream it, buy it, whatever and then take to the twitter and tell everybody that you want a Dredd2