Judge Dredd


SF elements

film of the AD2000 Judge Dredd comic books


Sylvester Stallone as Judge Dredd
Well, I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised: this wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be.

I haven't read any of the original comic books, so I'll review this as a stand-alone film. (For example, I have no way of knowing if the revelations about Dredd's background are canon.) It does acknowledge its comic book antecedents in the opening shots, however, which makes a refreshing change. And the city backdrop seems to have been deliberately designed to look 'cartoonish', and is quite effective. [The grimace]

Sylvester Stallone plays the eponymous Judge. (He seems to think that the most important thing he can bring to the characterisation is to pull his mouth into the correct Dredd grimace, even if that makes his dialogue even more unintelligible than usual. He may be right.) We see him Judging for a while, then the stock Evil Villain gets him framed for murder, and he is himself Judged, and sentenced. (Would I be being too cynical if I thought the sentencing [The muscles a convenient way for him to have his uniform stripped off, so he could display his muscles? No?) But he escapes, and saves the day.

The action is fast paced and fun, if very brainless. I can't comment on the level of violence -- I saw it hacked about on BBC TV, so it just got a bit discontinuous in places. The reason it is better than I expected is because everything manages to stay brainless, or camp, or tongue-in-cheek, without sliding over into moronic, or embarrassing, or just plain bad.

Rating: 4

[ unmissable | worth watching | passes the time | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]


Judge Dredd ..... Sylvester Stallone
Rico ..... Armand Assante
Fergie ..... Rob Schneider
Judge Griffin ..... Jurgen Prochnow
Judge Fargo ..... Max Von Sydow
Judge Hershey ..... Diane Lane

reviewed 19 September 1998