In the year 2139, the Earth has changed into a virtually uninhabitable place called the Cursed Earth. All of the Earth's population have crowded into the cities across the planet, now known as Mega-Cities. The crimes in these Mega-Cities became so violent and so powerful, that the regular justice system was powerless to contain, then it collapsed completely. However, a new justice system came from the ashes, there were three justice systems in one (police, jury and executioner), they were called Judges. In Mega-City One (formerly, New York City), there was a Judge, named Joseph Dredd, who was the toughest and most stringent Judge in history. One day, he was charged with murder, and was tried and sentenced to life in prison because of it. Written by
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In the third millennium, the world changed. Climate, nations, all were in upheaval. The Earth transformed into a poisonous, scorched desert, known as "The Cursed Earth". Millions of people crowded into a few Megacities, where roving bands of street savages created violence the justice system could not control. Law, as we know it, collapsed. From the decay rose a new order, a society ruled by a new, elite force. A force with the power to dispense both justice and punishment. They ...
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Judge Dredd and 2000AD represent my childhood inspiration for all things creative, accumulating in my career in the creative industry (I still have a full set of early 2000ADs in my studio). So obviously the film holds very personal emotions for me and as such I have to admit that I had a negative bias from the start. Anyway enough about me.
The film started and I was very impressed with the visual effects and design. At first I thought Judge Dredd's uniform was way over the top, even more than the comic version. However after remembering the visual style of films like Flash Gordon (1980) I put that down to personal preference.
One of the problems is Sylvester Stallone's Performance. I am not one of Sly's detractors, I have enjoyed his performances in films such as Rocky, First Blood, Paradise Alley, Copland and even Demolition Man. However this performance bares no resemblance to the character of Judge Dredd.
Stallone's character lacks the authority and quiet confidence of Judge Dredd. Sly seems to have replaced these aspects with standing in a tough pose, looking intense and shouting were applicable. Needless to say I did not see the dark and gritty anti hero I was hoping for.
I realise that this is a tall order for any actor and Sly in not helped by the films biggest problem, the atrocious dialogue. Clichés and over dramatic speeches destroy any hope of realism.
My final comment... Judge Dredd's helmet.
This should stay on at all times. I know this seems superficial, but it is representative of certain aspects of Judge Dredd's personality. Firstly Dredd's lack of personal ego, secondly his almost robot like dedication, determination and 'perceived' invulnerability and thirdly Dredd's function as an executioner.
There, I feel a little better now I've got that off my chest. Cheers.
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