Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rare 2GBC Movie Review!

I come to celebrate a movie today. A movie about a hero who fights to uphold truth and justice. A movie that shows us the consequences of withdrawing into one's own world, leaving those who care about us on the outside. A movie based on a comic, yes, but one that has many lessons to teach us about our own lives.

That movie is, of course, Judge Dredd.

The 1995 adaptation of everyone's favorite fascist law enforcer from the 2000AD comic starred Sylvester Stallone as Our Man Dredd, Armand Assante as his eeeeeeeevil genetic twin Judge Rico, Diane Lane as Judge Hershey, and Max Von Sydow as Chief Justice Fargo.

Oh, and it's got Rob Schneider as, um, pretty much every character you've ever seen him play, which is to say that you've got Rob Schneider playing Rob Schneider.

This movie was absolutely savaged when it was released, and some cite it as the worst wide release comic-to-movie adaptation ever. (Apparently these people haven't seen Superman IV.)

Judge Dredd is actually pretty darn good.

Not Oscar-caliber, mind you, but it's a fun bit of sci-fi comic bookery, with lots of 'splodey action, conspiracy, robots, cannibals, and clones.

I mean, it's got a fundamentalist hillbilly cyborg cannibal, for God's sake! The only way that could be cooler is if he was half-dinosaur, and I'm not entirely sure that in the first drafts of the script that wasn't the case!

Judge Dredd manages to stay relatively true to the spirit of the comic, which is equal parts dystopian future, action-packed law enforcing, and a dash of the odd sci-fi horror trope. It also manages to pack a LOT of 2000AD stuff in there, from the blockwar to the ABC Warrior, the Cursed Earth and whatnot. Kudos for paying attention to the source material, not just the title character.

Don't get me wrong; the comic is FAR superior to the film, and you're missing out if you haven't read any Dredd.

Yes, the Versace-designed Judge suit looks ridiculous once you get below the shoulders.

Yes, the acting takes camp to levels undreamed of in Adam West's wildest dreams.

Yes, Rob Schneider should probably stop making movies.

But there's a lot to like here, and I think it holds up pretty well as far as a 10 year old Stallone action blockbuster summer popcorn movie.

(And it's loads better than Superman IV or whatever the hell this is.)

Give it a shot, if you haven't seen it---or watch it again if it's been awhile. It's better than you've been led to believe.

Oh, and pick up this. It's good for ya!


Blogger Big Al said...

I must concur, and there's no other Stallone movie I'd rather watch except maybe, Rambo or Rocky 3.
And sadly I probably enjoyed Judge Dread more than I will Superman returns.

12:17 PM  
Blogger hostile17 said...

Sounds cool.
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12:19 PM  
Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

I agree wholeheartedly that this did not at all deserve the critical savaging it received when it came out ... it's not perfect, but it is a heck of a lot of fun

12:40 PM  
Blogger Evan Waters said...

There was one scene I liked, which is Max Von Sydow's character stepping down to save Dredd's life and making the long walk out to the Cursed Earth. It's a very well-done moment, and he's a good enough actor to sell it.

Stallone does this weird thing, though, where he pauses in the middle of his lines for no good reason. "I am... the law! Lay down... your weapons!" Didn't quite get that.

I wouldn't call it a good movie, but whenever it shows up on Encore I usually catch a bit of it. It delivers on a certain level.

10:51 AM  
Blogger googum said...

I thought the production and general design was really nice, but I hate Rob Schneider so much...and Stallone should have kept the helmet on the whole movie. Let the helmet act for you!

1:27 PM  

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