When did you realize you forgot your helmet?
love-letter to BOTH
films about Judge Dredd.
Written by: Frank Browning
OK kids, we’re gonna talk about my love for both of these movies. Bear with me…
If there’s one thing I enjoy more than making Brown, it’s Waxing Nostalgic. And this is how we begin our adventure… The world was a different place in 1995. Gas prices were below $4. Neo had not yet fallen down the rabbit-hole, bent spoons that weren't there and discovered the Matrix. Comic Book films weren't AS popular and mainstream as they are now.
Wide-eyed, young and impressionable, a 14 yr old yours truly discovered ‘Judge Dredd.’ Having always been a Stallone fan I instantly fell in love with this movie. Thus began my love and fascination with Judge Dredd. The movie was my first introduction to the character, therefore I had no idea that Dredd NEVER takes his helmet off. Through extensive research I learned a tad about 2000AD Comics but I’d already fallen in love with the film, inaccuracies and all.
In a dystopian future, Dredd, the most famous judge (a cop with instant field judiciary powers) is convicted for a crime he did not commit while his murderous counterpart escapes.
Judge Dredd was released in 1995. It was directed by Danny Cannon of ‘CSI’ fame. The screenplay was written by Steven E. de Souza. De Souza is responsible for screenplays to films like 48 hrs., Die Hard and Die Hard 2. The cast includes Sylvester Stallone, Max Von Sydow (The Exorcist), Armand Assante (Striptease), Jürgen Prochnow (Das Boot), Diane Lane (The Perfect Storm), Angus MacInnes (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) and James Remar (Dexter’s Dad). The beginning story crawl was narrated by James Earl Jones. The score was composed by Alan Silvestri (Back to the Future). Stallone’s Dredd costume was designed by Gianni Versace. With all this ungodly talent from all these brilliant people involved with this movie, how could this movie have not succeeded?! Honestly, I can’t tell you for sure. While I imagine the fact that they took Dredd’s helmet off and threw him in a buddy-action-comedy had something to do with it, I can’t believe that was the entire form of its destructor.
13 years after the release of Judge Dredd, Sylvester Stallone discussed his feelings about the movie:
“I loved that property when I read it, because it took a genre that I love, what you could term the 'action morality film' and made it a bit more sophisticated. It had political overtones. It showed how if we don't curb the way we run our judicial system; the police may end up running our lives. It dealt with archaic governments; it dealt with cloning and all kinds of things that could happen in the future. It was also bigger than any film I've done in its physical stature and the way it was designed. All the people were dwarfed by the system and the architecture; it shows how insignificant human beings could be in the future. There's a lot of action in the movie and some great acting, too. It just wasn't balls to the wall. But I do look back on Judge Dredd as a real missed opportunity. It seemed that lots of fans had a problem with Dredd removing his helmet, because he never does in the comic books. But for me it is more about wasting such great potential there was in that idea; just think of all the opportunities there were to do interesting stuff with the Cursed Earth scenes. It didn't live up to what it could have been. It probably should have been much more comic, really humorous, and fun. What I learned out of that experience was that we shouldn't have tried to make it Hamlet; it's more Hamlet and Eggs...”
Having said all that, let the love-fest begin!
I can say with much certainty that I’ve watched this movie more times than you fine folks have pooped in your lives.
The stats don’t lie, Folks.
This film belongs in my category of “Loud and Obnoxious” films. Loud and Obnoxious is a term of endearment I use for action movies I love. Other notable films in this category include The Matrix and Last Action Hero. I really give a lot of credit to Alan Silvestri’s score on this film. It gives me goose bumps more than any piece of music I've heard before or since.
There are SO many things I love about this movie. I've mentioned the cast and crew that I have much love and respect for. I won’t mention Rob Schneider because this is a discussion of what I love about this film. I love the fact that they used an ABC Warrior in the film.
ABC Warriors is a long-running 2000 AD comic.
I also love that in 3rd Millennium (with guns that can recognize DNA and motorcycles that fly) it takes Cadet Olmyer 3 hours to scan the wrong picture with a scan quad and a CG terminal. As a Graphic Designer, this fact makes me poo with laughter. It’s ridiculous! I can scan a cat turd in 3 seconds. The cursed Earth has really gone to Hell if it takes you 3 freakin’ hours to scan a picture. Holy Drokk!
I think it’s the campiness and the fact that they took everything over-the –top that really makes me love this movie. It’s a good time; a good romp to laugh through. Adam West should be proud…
I love this movie. Don't Judge me...
In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.
It really mystifies me as to why this film didn't do better at the box office, considering how much more gritty and violent and true to the source material it is than Stallone’s bomb. Especially considering how comic movies have exploded these past few years. (A couple of them were actually good!).
As much as I enjoy Stallone’s bomb, I love this flick easily as much, if not a bit more (for different reasons, obviously). This flick is like ‘Training Day’ meets ‘Punisher: War Zone”. We like this.
I think my favorite thing about this film is the gut crunching brutality of it. Nothing makes you feel better at the end of the day than buildings full of blood and bullet casings. It’s just like a camera crew followed Dredd around for a day. It just happened to be a bit of a rough day. I think a less grandiose plot of simple drug dealers is also a good choice for this movie. After all, Dredd deals with all kinds of perps. In the comics, he arrests people for being fat. That, to me, is far more interesting and hilarious than a society of clones that all look like Armand Assante. Just sayin’.
Overall, Dredd is just a solid action flick with really good use of bullets, blood and slo-motion photography. I recommend it to all people and most cats.
Depending on how you look at it, Judge Dredd (’95) and Dredd (’12) are both solid movies. If you like over-the-top action-buddy movies and don’t completely despise Rob Schneider, then Stallone’s flick is a good way to waste 90 minutes. If you like brutal violence and anus-kicking effects, then Urban’s movie will make you smile from ear to ear. I suggest you experience both movies, post haste.
The punishment for not watching these movies is an automatic 5 years in the iso-cubes where you have to eat recycled food. Recycled Food: It’s good for the environment and OK for you…