90 of 106 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
The career of a Hollywood Star goes through various ups and downs. This excellent film came out at a point in Stallone's career when it was simply his turn to get reviewed harshly by the Hollywood community. He was getting older, his career had drifted considerably, and another Sly action picture was simply going to be a very hard sell. It took a much-underserved whipping when it was released.
As I say, that is a real shame, because Judge Dredd was one of the best comic book adaptations to ever make the cross into film. It perfectly captures the 70's/80's British comic book about a futuristic cop who reins supreme, given the power to arrest, judge, and execute wrongdoers in a world gone rampant with crime.
This was a big budget production, and the sets and special effects are magnificent. The story is extremely engaging, and it is packed with great action. The film really doesn't take a misstep throughout.
What makes the film a real treat are the supporting performances. Stallone himself delivers a perfect-pitch job as the Judge, nicely capturing all the stern dedication of the comic book, and as the film progresses, his character is beautifully and even touchingly rounded out. But I find myself remembering the lesser roles, such as Armand Assante as the arch villain, Rico, a man holding extreme power in his madness. When his temper flairs, everyone jumps back. The old veteran, Max Von Sydow, displays a pro's commitment in his portrayal of the aging Chief Justice Fargo, holding on to his power simply through a towering dignity. Diane Lane, Jurgen Prochnow, and Joan Chen are on hand to lend superior support, as well as Rob Schneider, who did a great job in giving the movie the touch of comedy needed to truly capture the original comic book. This film even has the great Scott Wilson on board as Pa Angel, a leader of a criminally mutated family that dwells in the "cursed earth."
Amazon reviews got it completely wrong. Their condescending review was typical of the kinder reviews given when the film was released. There is certainly no need to "lower your expectations" to enjoy this film.
You will do just fine if you come to this picture expecting great things.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2011
I'm not going to say that I hate this movie, because I don't. It's a fun movie to watch...if you're not familiar with the comic book, and you're not a purist.
Which I am both.
It's not the acting in this film; I loved it all. From Stallone's 'Jut-Out-Chin' portrayal of Dredd (IMHO, ONLY Stallone can say 'I Am The Law', and have you believe it), to Max Von Sydow's weary Chief Justice. It's not the special effects or set design, either; they got those both down pat.
The fault with this film lies squarely with the writers. They screwed up his story something fierce, and the actors made do with what they had, which they did brilliantly. It's like I always say, 'It could have been brilliant on a level unimagined...if the writers had gotten the story right'. They got several key points wrong in this film, but I'll list the top four:
One: Judge Joseph Dredd never, ever ever ever ever ever ever ever EVER took off his helmet. EVER.
Two: Judge Fargo was long dead by the time Joseph Dredd was born.
Three: It is completely forbidden for Judges to engage in intimate relationships.
Four: Since Rico was a former Judge, he should not have been in Aspen. The jail for crooked judges was called Titan orbiting Jupiter (if I remember that right...I'll edit it if I'm wrong).
I'm not saying 'Don't see this movie', because it really IS a fun ride. It only loses a star because of the accuracy of the story.
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2002
I went to see this movie when it first came out, and I have to say that I never understood why so many people hated it.
All I can think of that that they misread Stallone's portrayal of Judge Dredd. Stallone is purposely playing Dredd as a comic book character (which, after all, is what Dredd was), and therefore not a role laced with any deep meanings. Although there are some deeper scenes (Dredd speaking of what happened to his best friend, and later, Dredd and Rico meeting in the Janus complex), for the most part, the movie is just one big comic book. The movie is what it is, and what it was intended to be; a fun, action sci-fi comic. To expect anything else is unfair.
There are some good roles here, too. Stallone purposely goes two-dimensional as Dredd, which is perfect (Dredd sees only black and white when it comes to the Law). Rob Schnider was also pretty good, not too annoying, not invisible. I recall my friends and I were impressed with him in this one. Diane Lane is foxy, and Max von Sydow lends credibility as mentor and Chief Judge.
There were some interesting ideas on display here, and the execution of those ideas is handled quite well. Perfect? Well, no, but not bad, either.
The effects are a bit dated. Most are CGI, and while impressive for their day, they are very "videogame-looking" compared to more recent CGI work. Still, if you want a fun sci-fi action picture, this is the one.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2012
I love this film, i understand most didn't like it but for what it was it was really well made. my only gripe with the blu-ray is it's still the theatrical cut! being a cinephile i do lots of research on movies i love and have read in several magazines, the fangoria that features the film mentions a harder director's cut and even has great pictures from the film that are not in the final print. with the new film Dredd coming soon it looks like this would have been a great time to to the director's cut and add back all the extra violence to the film and give us some extras. i've seen pictures where dredd's brother rico is in the lab and those cool skinless clones bust free from the chambers and attack dredd, i really would love to see those scenes, the clones were very cool and creepy looking and bet it makes a great fight/ attack scene. maybe one day fingers crossed the studios will listen to the fans and give us what we want and not just upgrade the picture and sound and give us the deleted footage, documentaries and even commentary. the film is not as bad as everyone say, at least in my opinon, you may disagree and if you do god bless you, it's your given right to disagree and everyone likes what they like.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Science fiction is such a wonderful medium in that it affords the creative community to test our concepts that would be impossible to explore in real life.
Judge Dredd is precisely that. A future post-apocalypic Earth (The Cursed Earth) where humanity lives in megacities and where society in order to keep order has established a Police Force with a Judges Power (Police, Judge, Jury, Executioner rolled up into one person - The Judge). These Judges have the power to chase criminals and dispense "Justice" on the spot. A Judge witnesses you jaywalking and he can, on the spot, Judge you guilty and impose a fine. In our society, such a concept is ridiculous and would never work but...suspend disbelief and take a look at what qualities a Judge would have to possess from an Ethics and Justice Perspective. Sometimes these concepts start out in Comics and Judge Dredd is no exception -- Judge Dredd is an award winning and very long running Britsh Comic. I've never read it though fyi.
The Movie is about one Judge -- the baddest and most feared/respected of them all (Judge Joseph Dredd). The movie adaptation follows the formula for many action movies of this time. Rob Schneider plays comic relif (small time thief who happens to be in the wrong time) throughout the movie. Diane Lane is the young new Judgette (sp?) and love interest of Stallone (no romance in the movie though just a bit of URST). Diane is as always lovely and such a wonderful acress. Stallone plays the cold idealistic Ethical Super Judge Dredd. Armand Assante plays a wonderful villain with a very cool bad Robot bodyguard. Max von Sydow and Jürgen Prochnow also play some wonderful supporting characters who deliver some wonderful performances. The acting is first rate and I can say that only Stallone could have played this role -- almost as if it was written for him.
I won't give away much of the plot - suffice it to say that Judge Dredd is accused of a crime he didn't commit, gets shipped off to jail and the bad guys almost take over. As Stallone, Schneider, Lane, and Max von Sydow work to fix things and come back from the edge of oblivion there's plenty of action, humor, big guns, big guns, shooting, big guns etc. Stallone saves the day and kisses the girl.
Category: A (this is not a B movie)
Budget: Summer Blockbuster ($90million)
Actors: First Rate
Acting: Very Good
Special Effects: First Rate (for the time -- still good today)
How'd it do: Half Belly Flop ($100million worldwide)
This was a big budget film which received poor reviews. It was very formulaic and probably the critics were tired of the same formula being used....Big Tough Hero + Comic Relief Funnyman + Gorgeous Girl + Super Bad Guy + Super Tough Odds + Science Fiction Setting = Super Summer Bockbuster.
In fairness, the movie is a bit dated but if you enjoy this genre and want a fun movie to watch on a Sunday Afternoon in the SciFi action category - this is a good candidate. Its not a thinking person's movie (unless your roomate happens to be a philosophy PHD candidate in which case you'll go down having the classic Socrates and Thrasymacus debate for the rest of the afternoon). More of a hang your brain at the door and have some fun kindof movie. The underlying concept though is extremely intelligent. I really enjoyed this movie but definitely its an acquired taste - I hope the review helps make a decision.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I have to say that I was not familiar with any Judge Dredd comics, games or had had any other contact with the character apart from this movie so I cannot compare the character to other sources. Therefore, coming from someone that did not "know" the Judge prior to the film I have to say that the movie was FANTASTIC!
There are slight hints of Mad Max and Total Recall, so the movie falls into the action/adventure/science fiction type of category, and what a major hit this action-packed movie is!
Sylvester Stallone, Armand Assante, Diane Lane, and Rob Schneider, have truly outdone themselves with their performances, which are outstanding, making this movie one of the best of its kind. The actors' great talent and chemistry clearly shows, thus providing a film that can be watched over and over again. The plot, the setting, the special effects, the battles and the costumes are all wonderful!
In short, I would definitely line up to watch a sequel!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2005
This was somewhat hated by critics, but I loved Judge Dredd
with Sylvestor Stallone and Diane Lane. It had great stunts,
effects and action.
Based on the comic book, Dredd is framed for murder, unaware
it's the work of his serial killer enemy. He then embarks
with help from one of his friends to break out of prison
and certain death from Cannibals to clear his name.
Great movie, a big thumbs up go to the real and fun vision
of the director. Stallone as only he can do looks great.
Also check out the comic book and the Judge Dredd video games.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2012
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
This item was well worth the $35.00 I paid for it. The transfer was on the level as the new aliens Blu-rays which are great. Eventhough it is in German, you can change it to Engish 5.1 version. I think my German has increased by seven words!I must say, this is how a blu-ray movie should be transfered.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2008
I remember seeing this in 1995, & liked it, but like one reviewer pointed out, the press & critics ripped it apart, I had not seen it again since & caught it a while back again & really got into it again & had a hard time trying to figure out how this one could do so poorly in 1995 & "The Fifth Element" with Bruce Willis two years later in 1997 could do so well, both films are almost identical in terms of visuals & a futuristic society, only the storylines differ, my only guess is the critics had a bone to pick with Stallone, his Dredd is exactly like the comic book character, Stallone did his homework on this, this one went head to head with "Batman Foever" & opened the same day as "Apollo 13", maybe the timing was bad, who knows, In this, Stallone is Judge Dredd who in the future judges those who commit crimes in a society run amok, Diane Lane (Murder at 1600) lends support as his partner, when Dredd is wrongly accused of murder, he sets out to clear his name with Rob Scheider in tow who is fun to watch, he was clearly having a good time in this no doubt & adds comic relief, Max Von Sydow was cast perfectly as Dredd's mentor & Armand Assante chews up the scenery as Dredd's nemesis, former partner, all in all a fun movie, much like Bruce Willis' film, & impressive, but I have to say it does rip other Sci-Fi films, most notably "Blade Runner" & has shades of "Star Wars", "Road Warrior", "Terminator", & "Batman", but so did "The Fifth Element", but hey, that is what I like about.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
It happens to be quite a coincidence that I found some Judge Dredd comic books in Spanish at a high school library mere months before it turned out that Sly Stallone would be playing this stern-faced cop of the distant future. So my buddies and I all went to see it and boy, I was really blown away by the very intoxicating ride through the high, tangled skyscrapers of the futuristic New York City. Makes you feel like you're really there, flying wildly through all those miles-high towers brightly flashing with neon signs and obscene advertising. In fact, this is one of the most powerful highlights of this dazzling sci-fi flick and the special effects will truly explode right into your face as you hang on every fast-paced action as Judge Dredd grimly chases all the bad guys! However, on the other hand - there is a great deal of excessive violence, of course ... and yes, even some grossness like that orge-like "Mean Machine" who would GET MEAN every time the dial on his forehead is turned and there's this scene where a man's arm gets stabbed with four syringe needles, causing blood to gush right out all over the place! In addition, there are many fans out there who complain about the title character taking his helmet right off, thus disclosing his mysterious visage - but I don't really care. In fact, I think "Judge Dredd" is one of the coolest movies I have ever seen!