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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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is how a comic book movie should be...OVER THE TOP, JUST LIKE THE CHARACTERS IN THE COMIC BOOK.Published 7 hours ago by CrazyasAFox
Take the costumes and scenery, the cinematography, and insert the actors from Dredd (the other movie) and you've got the whole picture. Read morePublished 24 days ago by RepublicsFury
I love this movie! Oldie but goodie. Sylvester Stallone is always hard core. Favorite Line "I am the Law!"Published 28 days ago by Tre
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