Judge Dredd is the first comic I grew up with since it was a big favorite of my brothers. The comic had some political commentary touching on freedoms and facism, dark/black humor, action and some crazy ideas. One plot revolved a candy maker's candy causing riots with even the cities computers requesting it. Another story had Dredd crossing the desert to deliver a cure for a virus in another city and it has parellels to Damnation Alley.
In the future, an atomic war has left the Earth transformed, much of it is a radioactive wasteland called "The Cursed Earth." Several Mega Cities have been constructed into burdgeoning metropolisis where crime is high, population density is thick and unemployment is through the roof. Only the rich have jobs and the numerous poor get huddled into tenament buildings. Many of the poor get stir crazy and turn to crime or even better get ahold of guns and start wars with neighboring buildings. The Judges are an armored police force that are equiped to handle riots and crime. Once the perps have been apprehended, the Judges pass down sentances or can even execute on the spot if they deem it neccessary. Judge Dredd is Mega City One's most infamous lawman known for his stiff sentances and unflinching loyalty to the law he upholds.
Well, thats what the COMIC is about, the movie uses the comic's cliff's notes and instills the movie with a seen-it-a-million-times-and-better plot which is loosly based on an original comic story involving Dredd being framed for murder. Stick him with an annoying sidekick in Rob Schneider and you have Judge Dredd.
Dredd is Sylvester Stallone and while he isn't terrible as Dredd, it really should have been an unknown since having a big profile star required him to not have his helmet on which is a huge no no in Dredd. He gets a female counterpart in the lovely DIane Lane but sadly it develops into a love interest role by the end of the movie which is again, a big mistake for Dredd comics. The movie's villian is Armand Assante who is arguabbly the best thing the movie has as his character Rico chews up scenes and spits them out with just what a lunatic he is.
Oh yeah, Rob Schneider to sum up his character, take every lame sidekick you have ever seen in movies, multiply it by 42 and you have an idea of Rob's character Fergie, who is based on comic character but only in name. Fergie in the books is the kind of dim witted giant thug who has a low IQ and an appetite for destruction. This Fergie is an obnoxious joke spewing hacker who keeps the movie light. His purpose is actually a pleasant one since the movie would really get weighed down in melodrama and violence. Of course if the movie had the sense to keep the book's black humor in play then Fergie would be even less important if not needed at all.
If theres nothing that bugs comic fans more, it's when their favorite comics get turned into movies that piss away continuity (X Men), or make changes for the sake of changing things (the upcoming GI Joe movie, mark my words it'll suck). Judge Dredd has both of these qulities as I can name a couple of dozen things wrong concerning the comic source material and could have thought of a better story line to adapt then the one they half adapted and merged with another one.
Judge Dredd is arguabbly one of those movies that if you set expectations on I dunno 1 and 5/8ths then you can enjoy it and it does get better every time you see it, but you can watch it a million times and it still looks mediocre. That is a crime, GUILTY-5 YEARS CITIZEN!
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