Judge Dredd (1995)

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Judge Dredd (1995)

Post  BoG on Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:13 am

A big budget adaptation of the sci-fi character which began in British comic books back in 1977. In the future, Earth is mostly a wasteland and most of humanity resides in mega-cities. The law in Mega City One is enforced by Judges who act as police officers, judges and executioners all rolled into one. In other words, these judges of the future have a lot of legal power, perhaps too much. The title character (Sylvester Stallone) is probably the best of these enforcers, but he's framed for a murder and sent to a penal colony as punishment. The main villain is Rico (Armand Assante), another former judge who turns out to be a cloned experiment to create the ultimate judges, of which Dredd was also a result. Dredd, of course, soon makes his way back to his city for a confrontation.

As with many such films, the story and concept strayed too far from the original. One superficial difference is that Dredd in the books never took off his helmet; but, in such a film, Hollywood felt that the star - Stallone - needed to be seen in all his glory and perhaps to humanize the character so that the audience can readily identify with him. The bigger issue is all this hokey plot about Dredd and Rico being experiments to create better Judges. Diane Lane plays Judge Hershey, one of Dredd's very few allies; she's definite eye candy. Rob Schneider, as a convicted thief, is there for comedy relief; he doesn't really belong in a story such as this, though he offers some respite from the doldrums. Max von Sydow lends dignity to the role of a Chief Judge and Dredd's mentor. The money is well spent on the sets and set design, but there's an emptiness to the proceedings. BoG's Score: 5.5 out of 10

Judge Trivia: there was another filmed attempt in 2012, titled simply Dredd, starring Karl Urban, but though it adhered better to the original concept, it was a box office failure, much like this one...
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