Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Judge Dredd (1995) Review:

Sometimes in movies, it is hard for the audience to like certain characters. And at first, I wasn't quite sure if I was truly going to become attached to the character of Judge Dredd. Even after the film ended, I couldn't fully side with the fact that I really liked the character. Unfortunately, this is all due to how the screenplay was written, credited to William Wisher Jr; not Stallone's acting. He was only following the script and the story line. That's the major thing that brought my approval down.

Stallone & Assante
Stallone is Judge Joseph Dredd. An elite officer who knows the law like the back of his hand. Speaking of which, this is an interesting trait. All officers are judges, which means there's no court sentence, the lawbreaker is assessed in the open and is determined to what will happen to them right then and there. Imagine if reality was like that? Things would actually be moving a lot swifter when it would come to courts! Plus it's cool how the officers can site immediately what the criminals sentence will be. Talk about photographic memory.

What isn't worth appreciating in this film is the screenplay. The character of Judge Dredd is so callous, that it'll be hard for the audience to really gain an understanding of why Dredd is the way he is. This is not explained until much later in the film. But even after that, the personality of Dredd doesn't change. It's almost like the idea of character development was totally left out of production. Either that or Michael DeLuca as a storyteller, really doesn't know how to tell a story. This is why I still can't decide whether I like Dredd or not.

Diane Lane...attractive yes?
Co-starring with Stallone is Rob Scheinder as Fergie, a goofy feeble computer hack who practically has all the funny lines. If Scheinder weren't in this film, I'm not quite sure I would have liked it as much. Diane Lane plays Judge Hershey, which the last name describes her nicely. She's candy to the eye. Everything about her face is very attractive. Playing the villain, Rico, is Armand Assante. As for him, I felt like Rico could've had a better voice. Assante's voice was too high-pitched and shrill to be a villain in this film. It just didn't fit.

For the most part, I did like the special effects. They all around looked well in their place. The judges' though bikes seemed a little bit over-sized, like they were riding Honda Gold Wings or something. Two characters that I thought were cool looking were Mean Machine and the ABC Robot. Mean Machine reminded me of Kroenen from Hellboy (2004), while the ABC Robot looked like an early T-600 prototype for the Terminator Salvation (2009),  just slightly clunkier and a little more loyal.

This whole area that this story takes place in reminds me of the first fifteen minutes of an earlier Stallone movie, Demolition Man (1993). The only difference is that the world is not futuristic, however it is still a mess. One thing I felt uncomfortable with in this movie was the city itself. Everything was too close together; in other words, there wasn't enough room for the audience to get a sense of position on the screen. As for music goes, which Alan Silvestri made the score too, there were some moments that just seemed overly dramatic. Majority of the time I don't have a problem with Silvestri's work, but this one bothered me a little.

Judge Dredd could have been a really entertaining futuristic cop movie but it ends up running by the book a little too often with Stallone being almost emotionless. Thankfully, the rest of the movie is held up with some fair action sequences, interesting special effects and a unique supporting cast.

Points Earned --> 7:10

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