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Got all the basics of some challenging material right
mstomaso9 June 2005
This film, and its generally poor reception is a good example of what happens when huge marketing mistakes are made. Take a look at the cover of the DVD package: "Stallone: Judge Dredd". The film should have been titled "Judge Dredd" - even in the packaging - and the emphasis for the marketing of this film should have been less Stallone, more content. On the flip-side, when the most consistent complaint you can find among IMDb psychofants is "HE TOOK OFF HIS HELMET!", you really have to wonder if the film is quite as bad as so many believe.

Eagle Comics 2000 AD character Judge Dredd was one of the most original, entertaining and intelligently written and interestingly drawn sci-fi comics of recent times. With story arcs varying from 2 pages worth of panels to 4 or 5 episodes, and sometimes multi-threaded plots, this violent, political and tough cyberpunk version of Dirty Harry set some pretty high standards for adult comic authorship both in its native UK and in the USA, once the imports started flowing in. It freely traversed from film noir to flat-out wild sci-fi action to nihilistic hard justice, and did so with style and originality rarely seen in the comic medium. Hence, although I like Stallone in this film, it's not only misleading but a little insulting to call this 'a Stallone film'. The producers had very big shoes to fill, and though I am in the minority here, I believe they did well.

The production team chose a story arc which I was never very fond of, but one of the more do-able ones to be sure. Any Dredd-based film would necessitate a huge special effects budget, and most of them, even with the best special effects available, would likely be nearly impossible to pull off and might look ridiculous. To their credit, the Return of Rico story arc was rightfully recognized as good film material - it involves more emotional content than the usual Dredd fare, and actually required fewer outrageous special effects, than, say, the many Judge Death arcs might have.

Dredd is a "street judge" - and the judges are the closest thing to a government in a post-apocalyptic future where nuclear war has concentrated all of the world's population into mega-cities - hotbeds of crime and chaos, surrounded by mutagenic wastelands called The Cursed Earth. Dredd is the best of the best, a very tough cop who knows method, theory, and has an incorrigible sense of ethics and dedication to the law. Dredd is also mentor to an entire generation of judges, including the brilliant Hershey (Lane). Rico, Dredd's former best friend, and a psychotic murderer escapes from a high security prison with some help from a fascistic leader of the judges who is bent on securing power and a new world order with himself in charge. Soon, Dredd is framed for murder and exiled to the wastelands, and judges start to die all over the city. About midway through the film, Dredd learns the truth of his relationship to Rico and begins to figure out the sinister plot. Of course, there is only one thing for him to do - return to Megalopolis to stop the conspiracy before it plays out.

The film features good performances by a really nice cast. Armand Assante brings the character of Rico to life better than the comic book ever did. Diane Lane, Jurgen Prochnow and Max Von Sydow are always good, and though I had my doubts to begin with, Stallone pulls off Dredd very well. While some folks complain about Rob Schneider's irritating behavior, I found that his goofy character took a little of the edge off of Stallone's depressive performance of the most stoic law enforcement officer on planet earth. This is not one of Joan Chen's better roles. If you're a big Chen fan, you might think twice about seeing this.

All considered, I see Judge Dredd as a under-rated and mis-marketed film, which, through its fast pace, sophisticated sci-fi plot, Excellent special effects and very good cast, took all of the screenable elements of the comic book and made them accessible to an audience a bit wider than its original fan-base. If this review peaks your interest, see it!
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A damn good time at the movies!
mattymatt4ever24 April 2001
It's unfortunate that "Judge Dredd" wasn't accepted by mainstream viewers or even received a cult following. I found it to be very entertaining. I don't see too many movies based on comic book superheroes that I honestly enjoyed. "X Men" for example went on too long, moved very slowly and took itself too seriously. "Judge Dredd" is a fast-paced sci-fi-action thrill ride that delivers from start to finish and has help in the comic relief department by Rob Schneider. Sylvester Stallone overacts throughout, but that's part of the fun. Watching him scream out "I AM THE LAW!!" makes you want to scream it out along with him, which is what I do whenever I view this movie. There are many quotable lines, which I enjoy reciting. "Judge Dredd" is not a deeply intelligent, insightful film. But it makes a great popcorn flick! This upbeat, funny, nonstop entertainment is a real treat for me to watch over and over again.

My score: 8 (out of 10)
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I liked it..
richieandsam4 January 2014

Now the thing about this movie is everyone hates it… except me.

The movie is about a law enforcer set in the future that gets falsely accused of murder and is sentenced to life imprisonment. He escapes and is on a mission to try and find the person who set him up.

Anyone that has read the comics hated this film due to the fact that is apparently so different to the comics. From what I have been told, Dredd never takes off his helmet and reveals his face. Not in this film. His helmet is taken off within 15 minutes of the movies start. I never read the comic so I don't know any other differences, but that is probably why I enjoyed it.

This film has a very 90s feel to it. It reminds me in a way to Demolition Man. They are both set in the future and are both really good action movies, although Demolition Man is better. I do love the action films from the 90s. They have a good over the top feel to them.

The acting is alright in it considering it is a cheesy action movie. The movie stars Sylvester Stallone as Dredd. He looks uncomfortable in this role some of the time, but then Stallone does not suit some roles. A young Diane Lane plays his partner. She does a pretty good job. I was very surprised to see a cameo from one of my favourite singers… the legendary Ian Dury. He only had a very small part, but he was really good.

The effects and explosions were really good and well done. But that is what was expected from the action films of that era. The gun fights were completely over the top too… in a good way. I also loved the giant robot in the film. It was one of my favourite characters.

If you like cheese, Sly Stallone, futuristic films and never read the Dredd comics… then I can't see why you would hate this.

I will give it 7 out of 10.

"I am the law!"

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Delivers thought-provoking action in a fantasy sci-fi wrapping
BrandtSponseller25 April 2005
Judge Dredd is based on one of the most popular characters from the UK's 2000 AD comics. It is set in the 22nd Century, when most of the Earth has been turned into a desolate wasteland known as the "Cursed Earth" and most humans live in highly concentrated cities, walled off from the rest of the world. Society is fairly anarchic, except there for a class of humans, known as "judges", who act as cop, judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one. Sylvester Stallone is the titular judge. He's notorious among the other judges, the general citizenry and the other judges for upholding the law in a harsh way. The film primarily tells the story arc from the comics known as "The Return of Rico", and concerns a plot to get Dredd into trouble while overthrowing what's left of the existing "order".

This is a great action/sci-fi film with a tone reminiscent of Demolition Man (1993), Total Recall (1990), The Fifth Element (1997), Blade Runner (1982) and similar films. If you like Stallone, gloomy futuristic production design and/or intense action films, Judge Dredd should be a rewarding experience for you, as long as you're not a purist who is coming to the film by way of an intricate familiarity with the 2000 AD comics.

The source material caused a slight problem for me, too, but not because I'm a purist. Rather, Judge Dredd suffers a bit from a flaw that plagues many films based on comic books--writers Michael De Luca, William Wisher Jr. and Steven E. de Souza had an extensive, pre-existent mythology (as is necessary when creating a complete, new world) on which to build their work, and they tried to incorporate a bit too much of it. Because of this, we're introduced to a large cast of characters fulfilling functions that we're not familiar with (in the details, at least), and we're regularly faced with new lingo, new cultural concepts, new technology, and so on, often with just a couple lines of dialogue. If you want to understand the details, you really have to pay close attention. But on the other hand, the general arc of the story is relatively simple, and you don't have to know every detail to enjoy it.

Given the disposition that Stallone has as Judge Dredd in the film, he may as well have walked out of Kurt Wimmer's film Equilibrium (2002). Dredd initially goes about his business almost robotically; he only cares about enforcing the law. When he's recruited by a higher-up, Chief Justice Fargo (Max von Sydow), to teach ethics (which is quite an ironic idea when you see Dredd's behavior in the opening scene), he tells the students that being a judge basically means giving up one's life to the law. He says that one cannot have friends, for example--never mind that other judges, like Judge Hershey (Diane Lane) try to have social lives outside of work. Dredd later tells Hershey that he did have a friend at one point, but he had to judge him. Sending a friend to prison or killing him (we're not told exactly how Dredd judged him, although we find out later) isn't exactly the best way to encourage a healthy social life.

So the subtext of the story, and Dredd's character arc, becomes that through a number of hardships, he finally learns something about ethics for himself--just in time to deal with a potentially shattering bit of information about his personal identity. He ends up accompanied by a man, Herman Ferguson (Rob Schneider, in a role meant primarily as comic relief, although more generously, he's an ironic emotional facilitator), whom he had just judged harshly, even though Ferguson wasn't really doing anything wrong on his first day out of prison. Together they have to go to a figurative hell (The Cursed Earth) to deal with figurative "demons" (a famed band of rogue cannibals who live in the tough environment) and back again to reach their fulfillment.

Like many recent sci-fi stories set in the future, Judge Dredd has a pessimistic view of where technology and social conventions are leading humans. As the story has it, at one point, we had built massive, relatively unstoppable robot warriors, and one of the highlights of the film is when the villain finds one and puts it back into service. It's as much fun to watch the gadgetry as it is to watch the action sequences, and the computer generated "landscapes" throughout the film are spellbinding, with their sly jabs at various changes and similarities to present locations and cultures. The whole concept of the judges and their hierarchical structure is fascinating, even if some apparent inconsistencies (such as why judges are not summarily dealt with in the same manner that other citizens are) are never explained in the film.

The performances are good, even if a few actors barely get enough screen time (like Lane and Joan Chen, who plays semi-villain Ilsa), and the premise is captivating. It's too bad this film gets unduly knocked by purists and those misguidedly looking for detail realism in the genre. Judge Dredd is severely underrated on IMDb. It deserves a first look or a second chance.
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Standard blockbuster fare for people who like things that go bang – but not much more than that
bob the moo22 April 2003
In the future the world has been scorched and is uninhabitable. The cities are overflowing and cramped. Violence and crime has gotten to the stages that the courts and juries of the past were unable to cope. The Judges were planned to be police, judge and executioners – the ultimate law keepers. The strictest of these is Judge Dredd. However Dredd's history is revealed when his long-forgotten genetic twin escapes from captivity and kills high ranking council members. The DNA evidence points to Dredd and he is sentenced accordingly. However he escapes with hacker Fergie and returns to the city to try and stop Rico's plan for his own laws.

It's been a few years since I saw this in the cinema and I thought I'd give it another go. However I had only average memories of it – memories that were pretty close to the mark now that I've seen it again. The film starts reasonably well and has a good little bit of humour in it – the recycling bot that says `recycle waste for food, it's good for the environment and OK for you!' is my favourite! However any nice touches like this and any debate on the nature of the Judges is quickly lost in a by-the-numbers blockbuster.

The action is OK but not great and the film doesn't manage to ever really have a genuine sense of excitement or tension. Director Cannon is much better at style than substance and here he proves that again. The cartoon violence will be OK for teenagers but is too basic and undemanding for many I think. The cityscapes are quite good but a tad OTT. Bladerunner got it pitch perfect all those years ago and every film since has tried to up the ante unnecessarily.

Stallone is a pretty good choice for Dredd because of his strong chin. I didn't care less if he removed his helmet or not, but his constant speaking in catchphrases did annoy me a bit. Oh – and I've heard a life time of `law' and `court' puns and kiss-off lines. Schneider is a misjudged comedy sidekick, he isn't used well and just gets in the way. The film would have been better without his `relief' and gone darker. Assante is a strong villain and the council is full of famous faces. Lane has nothing to do as Judge Hershey.

Overall this is a cartoon for teenagers and those just looking for lots of bangs. However, even for that crowd this may prove a little basic – I wanted it to be more sophisticated than it was and be darker (but not just violent as it has been misinterpreted as here). Maybe worth a watch with a beer and pizza but the fact that we haven't been treated to a JD2 speaks volumes.
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Classic Stallone action movie.
matt190077 January 2006
Firstly, I am not a reader of the Judge Dredd comic books, so I have nothing to compare Stallone's Judge Dredd to, but honestly, I loved this movie and cannot imagine any other actor playing this role. I've heard people say that Dredd should not remove his helmet, but that did not bother me one bit. The action in the movie ranks along side some of Stallone's best and the movie is entertaining from start to finish. I think that Rico is a good villain, played to perfection by Armand Assante and Diane Lane is superb as Judge Hershey, providing all of the emotion and human qualities that are devoid from Judge Dredd, therefore intensifying the character of Dredd. Fergie is also a good character, played well by Rob Schneider who creates a sense of humour, making the film not just about raw action. Judge Dredd, as a popcorn movie is superb, it was never going to win Oscars, but at the end of the day, that is not the point of the film. It is intended to be pure Stallone-fuelled entertainment and on this level it is a resounding success.
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Absolutely nothing original but shockingly good
solongsuckers22 August 2003
I'll preface this by saying that I have never read the Judge Dredd comic. That being said, I bashed this movie when my friends and I watched first watched it back in 1995 in the theater. I am now throughly eating my words. This thing is amazingly good and entertaining throwaway cheese. There is zero originality here. This is Blade Runner meets Demolition Man meets Texas Chainsaw massacre meets Superman 2 meets Star Wars Trilogy. This movie is almost a replica of Demolition Man but is tons more fun. Stallone, like in Demolition Man, plays a supercop. He's accused of a crime he didn't commit and is punished, like in Demolition Man. There are other parallels along the way. He meets a Texas Chainsaw Massacre family in his exile, with an android member who looks suspiciously like Terry Bradshaw. Armand Assante is really great as the villain, Diane Lane excels in a role that doesn't fit her and Rob Schneider is stunningly endearing as the third wheel in a party of two. Max Von Sydow and Jurgen Prochnow add their talents to give the movie a seasoned flavor. Stallone's intro is pathetic but he excels along the way. The digital effects also work themselves into the story very well. I'm stunned at how good this thing is upon reviewing it.
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Rob Schneider is Satan
mba-1213 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Never in the field of human conflict has one man rendered one almost-bearably big dumb action movie (fanboy sacrilege aside - everyone knows it should've been Clint Eastwood, not Rambo, playing Dredd) so completely unwatchable as Rob Schneider in Judge Dredd. Playing the "amusing", "comedy" sidekick, over the course of 96 minutes, Schneider manages to out-annoy the combined powers of Joe Pesci, Willie Scott and Jar-Jar Binks, rendering the hard work put in by Max Von Sydow, Jurgen Prochnow and the rest of the (fairly sturdy) cast so completely redundant. Even when the f*cker gets shot, he continues to "wisecrack" in a "cheeky but lovable" fashion. WHY IS ROB SCHNEIDER? WHAT DOES HE PROVE? WHY DO PEOPLE WATCH HIS MOVIES? WILL HE NEVER DIE?
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This is one great action flick
stamper6 August 2000
This has got it all, the comic lines, the action, the story a perfect cast (especially Stallone, whom you could presume modelled for the comic character of Judge Dredd, Assante who makes a real cool bad guy and Schneider as the comic sidekick). This really never puts you back an inch, while you are on the edge of your seat. It is great, although I would have liked it bloodier (show how they rip Prochnow's arms and legs of and show how that human is barbecued). While I am at the bad stuff, I feel that the effects were pretty poor sometimes although that didn't bother me that much I still enjoyed it. What bothers me that at 93 minutes this film seems heavily cut, or why does the lab at the end just start exploding and why didn't I see one clone moving around. That's it, nope, the ending could have been better, but it is OK.

8 out of 10
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Underrated mastery of unnamed genres... kind of
traantz9 May 2004
Two weeks ago, my sister bought a VCR from one of her friends... VHS... scary enough. For her ten bucks she also got two dozen movies... Judge Dredd was one of them

Since I popped this movie in, I have watched it at the very least two dozen times. I watched it once today, once yesterday, twice the day before that, three times the day before that, twice the day before that... and I have a decent selection of other films to choose from. This movie is addictive. It has this pacing and style that, while not very realistic, and certainly not worthy of an Oscar, it just makes you grin. Every time the Alan Silvestri Dredd theme pops up, I just smile... from the Gianni Versace designed Dredd Armor, to the top-notch special effects, this movie brings together many elements into a 96 minute ride of pure cheese that keeps getting better each time you watch it

The CG can be beautiful at times, even to the point of photorealism, and certainly outdoes the the horrid cartooniness of Blade 2's or X-Men's CG...

You just have to watch it to believe how addictive this damn thing is

'Nuff Said
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My two penneth
sterlacchini5 May 2005
Judge Dredd and 2000AD represent my childhood inspiration for all things creative, accumulating in my career in the creative industry (I still have a full set of early 2000ADs in my studio). So obviously the film holds very personal emotions for me and as such I have to admit that I had a negative bias from the start. Anyway enough about me.

The film started and I was very impressed with the visual effects and design. At first I thought Judge Dredd's uniform was way over the top, even more than the comic version. However after remembering the visual style of films like Flash Gordon (1980) I put that down to personal preference.

One of the problems is Sylvester Stallone's Performance. I am not one of Sly's detractors, I have enjoyed his performances in films such as Rocky, First Blood, Paradise Alley, Copland and even Demolition Man. However this performance bares no resemblance to the character of Judge Dredd.

Stallone's character lacks the authority and quiet confidence of Judge Dredd. Sly seems to have replaced these aspects with standing in a tough pose, looking intense and shouting were applicable. Needless to say I did not see the dark and gritty anti hero I was hoping for.

I realise that this is a tall order for any actor and Sly in not helped by the films biggest problem, the atrocious dialogue. Clichés and over dramatic speeches destroy any hope of realism.

My final comment... Judge Dredd's helmet.

This should stay on at all times. I know this seems superficial, but it is representative of certain aspects of Judge Dredd's personality. Firstly Dredd's lack of personal ego, secondly his almost robot like dedication, determination and 'perceived' invulnerability and thirdly Dredd's function as an executioner.

There, I feel a little better now I've got that off my chest. Cheers.
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Big budget time waster
Leofwine_draca9 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
More no-brain thrills and spills from Stallone, who found his popularity on the wane at around this period. On the strength of this film, I can't say I'm surprised, especially as scenes of Stallone walking around like a tree shouting "I am the LAW!" in a supposed-serious manner are frequently laughable and make you feel embarrassed for the actor. JUDGE DREDD is one of those movies that was possibly messed up in post-production, as the disjointed, fragmented narrative and frequently confusing action may testify to. Indeed in one scene we see a bloodless Stallone in action; in the next we see him running down a corridor bleeding profusely, suggesting that perhaps large chunks of the film were cut out due to negative audience reaction?

Whatever the reasons, JUDGE DREDD is a shallow, action-packed film totally lacking in any characterisation or deep plot. In this respect it may be a good approximation of a comic book, but as a film it's a failure and makes you wonder why on earth they bothered in the first place. The biggest insult is that the producers have gathered together an excellent cast of famous names and faces, only to mishandle them and let them sleepwalk through their respective roles on autopilot. Apart from the granite-jawed Stallone in the lead role, we have Diane Lane as the superfluous love interest who spends a large amount of screen time missing; Jurgen Prochnow (in his "do anything for the money" period) as the boring, ineffectual and forgettable bad guy; Max Von Sydow as Chief Justice, whose role amounts to little more than a cameo; and Joan Chen whose screen time is also minimal. The only people who seem to be trying are the not-too-irritating Rob Schneider as the comedy sidekick and Armand Assante as the crazed, ruthless villain.

It's a shame as this movie is so poor, because the special effects are marvellous. The evocation of a futuristic cityscape is something that is done often in the movies and here it is most impressive. Also impressive are two robot creations (one CGI, one makeup) which act as adversaries for Stallone. The first is a gigantic, ED-209 style bodyguard for Assante, which lumbers through scenes shooting and tearing people limb from limb! Cool stuff and some fantastic CGI work. The second is an equally impressive android-man called Mean Machine who has a metal head and arm; he's one of the evilest robots that I've seen in a film, and it's a shame that he only appears in one scene. Sadly, as a whole JUDGE DREDD is a mess which glamourises death and violence so much that it doesn't mean anything in the end (by the time Stallone finishes slaughtering his 100th bad guy in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY you end up getting sick and tired of it all). COMMANDO this ain't. Instead, it's a time wasting big-budget flick which is impossible to enjoy with the brain engaged.
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6/10 Some fun to be had
The_Wood22 January 2002
I feel Judge Dredd doesn't really get the respect it deserves. Let me explain. While this isn't a great film by any means, it is entertaining, and it doesn't kiddie itself up for teens.

Judge Dredd is a R rated comic book. That right there may limit its audience, because most filmgoers might feel comic books are just for kids, and they are goofy. Well that is true with Dredd, it is goofy, but its far too violent and chauvinist for small children. Perhaps that is part of its charm.

It's a nice action movie, with a good hard helping of violence, and interesting characters: including redneck cannibals and a giant robot. The film would have been much better with out the comic relief of Rob Schneider.

The film could have benefitted from some Diane Lane nudity.
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The Most Disappointing Movie EVER
MI$ gUy19 June 1999
If you love the comic (2000 A.D.) do not, I repeat, do not watch this movie, because you may never see Judge Dredd in the same light again. I had waited for this movie for years. When I heard that Stallone was playing Dredd I thought nothing bad of it. I knew that with him in the picture it would be in wide release, and I knew that much like Batman, Judge Dredd does not need a great actor to play him. Stallone seemed to fit the bill of someone who could be tough, have little dialogue, and shoot up the enemies. Little did I know that Judge Dredd would be put into the same category as Batman Forever, and Batman and Robin, in that they are all "disneyland" versions of a much darker comic.

In the comic, the future is a bleak place. Comic books don't get much darker or bloodier than this one. It is not a "fun, happy go-lucky" comic. However, it is extremely exciting and if translated correctly could be the perfect action movie.

Showing a human side of Dredd was the worst mistake of this movie. For one Dredd does not take his helmet off. For two he does not have a sidekick.

If this movie had been made correctly it would have received comparison's to the likes of Terminator 2 and Predator. However, after seeing this movie, I think it would best be compared to the likes of Teen Wolf Too, as one of the worst films ever made.
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Another film wrecked by Rob Schneider...
John-42318 January 2003
Schneider is like Jar Jar Binks but without the charisma... Sheesh, does he suck or what? Every 5 seconds we get to hear him utter some annoying joke or phrase, too bad Dredd didnt put a bullet in his characters skull, it woulda made the movie much more palatable. Assante was pretty good as usual, however this film coulda been great if it had centered on Judge Death. Too bad comic book fims are almost always garbage.
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The Great Sly Stallone Is Judge Dredd Down To A Tee
Big Movie Fan24 June 2002
Sylvester Stallone did a great job as the stern Judge Dredd from the 2000 A.D. comic book.

I used to read a lot of the early Judge Dredd stories in 2000 A.D. Dredd was a law enforcer in a future time where there were no juries, no trials, just instant justice dispensed on the spot. If you were guilty the emotionless Dredd would issue whatever punishment he saw fit.

Back to the movie anyway. It's not always easy to translate a comic book hero to the big screen without changing things but they did a great job with this movie. If you were to look at a photo of Stallone in this movie and compare it to a drawing of the comic book Dredd you would see no difference. Stallone was Dredd down to a tee.

The story is great as well. Dredd is accused of a crime he did not commit and he must prove his innocence. The action scenes in the movie were fantastic.

All in all, a brilliant film. I just wish there'd have been a sequel.
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Highly under-rated
dolemite7220 September 2004
Years ago, in 2000AD, they held a poll to which who could play JUDGE DREDD. With this poll taking place in 1980-81, most readers voted for CHARLES BRONSON or JAMES COBURN. To be true, either BRONSON or COBURN had the 'DREDD' look, but were getting on a bit, in years. Finally after many legal wrangles, the movie got made in 1995, and SYLVESTER STALLONE was picked to play the futuristic lawman. Once made, the fans picked holes in the movie. DREDD takes his helmet off (the fans could not forgive this) but allow Hollywood, a certain 'artistic licence'. Obviously STALLONE had to show his face (if only in the scenes were he's incarcerated, unlike the 2000AD 'JUDGE CALIGULA' stories, whereas he was bandaged up, due to a snipers wound) Now nearly ten years on, the movie is still fresh, the effects still special, and STALLONE still shines (despite what people say, STALLONE is the only 'tough-guy' i'd want to see play DREDD, right down to the comic-book 'snare') Every performance is great in this movie (especially MAX VON SYDOW) and director DANNY CANNON has come in for a lot of misguided flack. And it's also good to see that other minor 2000AD elements have been kept intact. The 'ANGEL FAMILY' are exactly as i remember them in the comics, and the set design, is MEGA-CITY-ONE come to life. So for those, who are to geeky to accept a little change, just imagine, that JUDGE DREDD had been made in 2004. DREDD would be played by either VIN DIESEL or THE ROCK..........Holly drok!!!!!

Big lee gives this fine movie a solid ten, and would readily welcome a sequel (but it must be either the JUDGE CALIGULA or JUDGE DEATH plot-line)
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what a chance wasted
mattwakeman4 April 2001
oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. it's hard to judge this without comparing it to one of the greatest comic characters (and certainly the greatest comic character to emerge from this sceptered isle, 'Dan who?').

the opening scene is great, a visualisation of what Mega-City 1 looks like as first thought of by the great artist Carlos Ezquerra. But then it just goes down hill. And fast. It takes a great, bleak, blackly funny view of a near future (and in some cases present day view of America) and ignores everything that makes the comic great. Instead it turned it into a standard rogue cop with buddy type movie. The whole idea of Judge Dredd was that he was the perfect embodiment of the legal system. He never fought the system because he WAS the system. In all its brutal and unpalatable forms.

JD's greatest ever writer wrote a screenplay for this film (the i'm not worthy to type his name JOHN WAGNER *sigh*) but the studio merely wanted to have it off him for peanuts. he told them where to go and as a result a great character (and indeed great enemies) were wasted by a film that said nothing new. and in many cases said it very badly as well.

The only bright spot is that JD has been taken over (2000AD for the first time in it's history is being run by people who are actually fans of it, go go go Rebellion, run with it and make things happen) and who knows maybe we will one day see ol' Joe Dredd in all his big chinned, tight booted, fascist glory. Maybe as a cartoon (think Akira, not bugs bunny) and maybe as a film but if anybody saw this film and thought what rubbish. well, you are right. but get a hold of the comics (especially 'Song of the Surfer' or 'America') and see why this film was attacked on sight by all fans of the comic. Oh and by the way, in the 24 years (yes, 24 years) readers have never seen JD's face. And if we do, it's not gonna look like Stallone.

'No-one is innocent citizen. We're just here to determine the level of your guilt'. Joe Dredd. Crime Blitz. Mega City One
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Fun action-book movie
Reel_entertainment2 January 2002
This movie got blasted hard by critics, when it shouldn't have. Like the 'Superman' & 'Batman' movies, well the first 2 'Batman' movies, this is a movie based off of a comic book & is pretty good. It has a good balance of action & comedy. Sly Stallone plays Judge Dredd, in the future where the law id held in the hands of The Judges, who act as the police, jury & judge. Dredd is set up for murder...with him away, a plan is devised to let chaos run throughout the city. Fans of Stallone will love the movie. If you aren't a huge fan, give it a chance; just leave the common sense at the door & have a good time.
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In a post-apocalyptic metropolis the only law is dispensed by judges-cops with the power of judge, jury and executioner
ma-cortes7 November 2012
Exciting , big-budgeted film dealing with a standard comic book dystopian near-future City where rules fearful judges and happens fantastic events . The source comic book has been a cult favorite in England for thirty years . Loud , spectacular and violent movie set in a future world of urban chaos and based on the comic books by Carlos Ezquerra and John Wagner ; being well adapted by Danny Cannon . In the third Milennium , the futuristic world changed , climate , nations , all were upheaval . The Earth transformed into a poisonous scorched desert , known as ¨The Cursed Earth¨. Millions of people crowed into a few mega Cities where roving bands of street savages created violence the justice system could not control . The Planet Earth has changed into a virtually uninhabitable place . All of the Earth's population have crowded into the cities across the planet , now known as "Mega Cities¨ . Law as we know it collapsed . From the decay rose a new order whose rule of law is administrated by authorities on motorbikes . A society ruled by a new elite force . A Force with the power to dispense both justice and punishment . They were the police , jury and executioner all in one . They were the judges . Around desert lies Mega City One . It is a violent, futuristic city where a new Justice System came from the ashes , the police has the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, they were called "Judges" and dispense justice on the riot-torn streets and buildings of Mega City . They fight to control the block riots that over-running the city . The crimes in this "Mega city" became so violent and so powerful, that the regular justice system was powerless to contain, then it collapsed completely . A cop named Dredd , most feared of all , teams with a another judge named Hershey (Diane Lane) to take down criminal gangs , but Dredd is double-crossed and being framed for murder . Dredd fights to clear his name helped by the women-judge and a likable delinquent (Rob Schneider), a renegade misfit named Ferguson , must confront the odds and engage in the relentless battle for their survival . But an escaped convict named Rico (Armand Assante) overtakes the compound's control center and wages a dirty, vicious war against the Judges that proves she will stop at nothing to protect her empire . Rico is an ex-judge who was artificially created and seeks vendetta and power confronting his half-brother , Dredd . Judge Dredd soon released from his imprisonment looks for his genetically contrived evil brother and takes place the final battle .

This slam-bang film packs big names , noisy action , thrills , chills , suspense , convoluted screenplay , high body count , loads of massive villains and lots of violence . Some interesting plotting is partially lost in a sea of hard-edge violence , overripe acting , exaggerated explosions and excessive shots . Visually imaginative action Sci-Fi that contains fast and furious fun with echoes of ¨Metropolis¨, ¨Things to come¨ and ¨Blade Runner¨ . The exciting screenplay throws in Femme cop and a likable inmate , Rob Schneider , who acts as comic relief. The highlights of the movie are a smashing Airbone pursuit on flying motor-bikes and the breathtaking , overwhelming finale . Silvester Stallone's iconic presence is good as a helmeted , emotionless future-cop who dispenses the square jaw-lines and a summary justice. Fizzing visuals , video game-like special effects and impressive production design showing a large megalopolis in ¨Blade Runner¨ style . Praiseworthy set design by Nigel Phelps who creates a doleful as well as amazing ghetto City . Atmospheric original music by Alan Silvestri , composed by means of synthesizer . Colorful , though sometimes dark cinematography by Adrian Biddle . The precocious technical mastery displayed by Danny Cannon is spectacular and he delivers narrative fluidity . However , the film failed at box office ; Silvester Stallone , Sly, hoped , in vain , the project would provide him another profitable franchise but it didn't take place . Many years later was shot Dredd 3D (2012) by Pete Travis with Karl Urban , Olivia Thirby and Lena Headley . Rating : 6,5 . Acceptable action film and it will appeal to Stallone enthusiasts and action fans .
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A pleasant surprise, GRUDamnit!
0ldsk00l1 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Given that all Hollywood adaptations of comic book heroes end up fundamentally flawed, this one does a pretty good job. Ok, so Dredd takes his helmet off (the abstention from this was merely a 2000AD in-joke anyway); Griffin is a bad guy; the entire Council of distinguished judges is wiped out in an instant; Rico is not the identical twin clone of Dredd; Aspen is substituted for Titan; neither Fargo nor Rico have badges bearing their proper name (Dredd)... but all these faults pale in comparison to what the movie actually got *right*.

The casting was absolutely spot-on: Dredd, Hershey, Fargo, McGruder, Griffin... all these actors looked and behaved exactly as their 2000AD counterparts. Fergie wasn't the same as his comic-book counterpart, but so what? The original character was such a caricature of a real person, had he been portrayed in that way he no doubt would have ended up the Jar-Jar Binks hate-character of the film. The costumes were also brilliantly realised from their comic book incarnations - something that is notoriously difficult to do, especially for a helmet design as impractical as that of the Mega-City One judge!

The dark totalitarian political landscape of Mega-City One was admirably conveyed, particularly in the device used to convict Dredd (the assassination of "pro-democracy" journalists) and the underhand skullduggery of Griffin and his co-conspirators. The icing on the cake was the inclusion of the brilliant Hammerstein robot from the ABC Warriors, and that of the Angel Gang. A better screen portrayal of the Angel Gang simply could not have been wished for - Mean Machine was *exactly* as he is in the comic!

My only real gripe with this movie is that the history of the 2000AD universe is significantly messed around with, but as I have said, this is expected of Hollywood and did not detract from this as a standalone film one bit. For me, the most disappointing change made was that of making Judge Griffin the bad guy. In the comic he is one of the most exemplary judges and indeed much admired by Dredd himself (as well as having an eye-patch for his troubles). It is a shame the film had to besmirch the good name of Griffin in this way - Jurgen Prochnow would have made a fine *upstanding* Griffin. That said, the changes are nowhere near as bad as those made for Batman where the origins of both the Batman and the Joker are changed in such a way as to spoil the entire essense of the Batman mythos.

Brit director Danny Cannon can congratulate himself on having done a fine job of preserving the essense of the world of Judge Dredd in the face of Hollywood revisionism!
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What A Waste!
missouri_reb22 December 2010
Such a shame to see a creative comic series turned into another low brow Stallone vehicle. Could of been great. A very strong cast and great source material simply wasted. I realize this entertained many, so I guess it accomplished its purpose, but this had the potential to be so much more. If you liked the comics, I would think you would be upset to see what they spent millions to ruin. Stallone has made a few good movies in his career, but as a general rule, I associate his name with juvenile scripts and unimaginative action. This is no different. If you're a big Stallone fan, you should enjoy it, but I'm surprised at any Judge Dredd fan liking this. All the special effects in the world can't save a bad script. It is so rare that Hollywood ever does a book or comic adaption justice.
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Wait, so they actually want us to take it seriously?
vip_ebriega23 September 2007
My Take: Another instance of awful eye-candy.

When I saw a TV commercial for "Judge Dredd", and saw Sly Stallone in a silly superhero/cop outfit, I was prepared to laugh, big time. And I did, for most of the first part, then pretty soon, Stallone takes of the funny helmet, I guess it's time to stop laughing. Is it gonna get serious? Surprisingly, it tries to. And by that point, "Judge Dredd" got even sillier than it was before.

"Judge Dredd", though, is not as campy as it sounds, but it still is. Most especially if it takes itself way to seriously. The film is based on a series of comic books I haven't manage to read, but these comic books aren't those things that are taken to seriously. That's what this film does wrong. It's just a fun, campy action adventure, much like "Robocop" perhaps, wherein a fighter of justice fights thugs and shoot bad guys. In the film though, we have a frame-up (a common plot outing in futuristic-setting films like this) and a lot of violence than could be too much for its younger audiences.

There is no problem, obviously, to add a plot to an otherwise ridiculous premise. But "Judge Dredd" took it too high. The plot is for films like "Total Recall", yet the film is definitely marked for sci-fi buffs 10 and below. One, wherein a futuristic hero fights bad guys and saves cities and stuff. "Judge Dredd" pushes the envelope as well by having a lot of violence. The film is rated R, yet you can't stop kids from actually going to these kind of things. And obviously, adults will just laugh at it. "Judge Dredd" will have a hard time finding its audience, because it's too violent for the kiddies to watch alone, and too campy and just plain silly for the adults to sit through without laughing.

Rating: ** out of 5.
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More Fun Than Xmen 2 or Spiderman 2
filmbuff197017 September 2004
This movie is far more fun than the boring Xmen 2 or Spiderman 2. Why simply because it does not have a hero constantly whining about being a super hero. The whole point of a super hero is he is super. I don't need a action movie to have less action and more character study. Action movies should entertain not bore the pants off people. I want my heroes to be like heroes, not ones that could do with a slap. This is fast paced and one of the best action movies of 1995, just compare it to Waterworld, Batman Forever and Die Hard with a vengeance. This is superior to those movies yet flopped. If Schwarzenegger had been in this it would of done well, but Stallone movies never got a fair review. The Special FX are superior to the awful Playstation 2 cgi rubbish we get now. It's a real shame there wont be a sequel.

10 out of 10.
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Worst movie I've ever seen
Stevo-1813 January 1999
I suppose it may have had to do with my expectation going in, but I have to say that is the worst movie I've ever seen. The acting is atrocious, the jokes are rarely funny, and the story is stupid. I believe that's the first movie I've ever walked out of. Absolutely awful.
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