The world has become a wasteland and now the Judges deal with the ever-growing threat of crime. Judge Joseph Dredd (Sylvester Stallone) is framed for murder and must figure out who is the person that set him up.
Director: Danny Cannon
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Armand Assante, Diane Lane, Rob Schneider, Max Von Sydow, Jurgen Prochnow
MPAA Rating: R for continuous violent action
Fun Fact: Sylvester Stallone didn’t know Judge Dredd existed until he was offered the role
When viewing a film, some of the time you can tell if there were problems on set. This could be the studio getting too involved or actor and director differences. Whatever the case may be, it can be seen. Judge Dredd is one of those films where you can tell that there’s problems. The film feels rushed and a little too short. This could’ve been due to all the reshoots and cuts that Stallone wanted to do. This was due to Stallone and director Danny Cannon. Cannon wanted to make the film violent and satirical while Stallone wanted it to be more comedic.
The positive thing about the film is the visuals. The futuristic city and wasteland look good on screen. The costumes are unique and since it’s comic book material and look like the comics. Other than the sets and costumes, the action is shot nice. You can clearly tell what is going on and the camera work is focused and there really isn’t any shaky camera work when the action is on screen. The film makers used practical effects which was nice to see. The clones looked unique and had a genuine creepy look. Sadly, they’re not really used all that much.
The biggest flaw this film has is the acting and while it’s not the worst acted movie it’s still bad. Stallone takes his role way too seriously and you want to see him lighten up a bit and just have fun with it. My guess is that him and Cannon were in an intense feud over this project that he was on the infamous “I don’t care” mode. While you have a way too serious performance from Stallone, you have an over the top performance from Armand Assante. I don’t think anyone will be able to take Assante seriously when you see this film. The great Max Von Sydow is wasted in this as well. While his part is short, it begs to question why did he even pick this.
Overall Judge Dredd is just a mess. You can tell there were problems on set and the film reflects it. It’s a little too short, and just feels empty in areas. The positive thing about all of it is the visuals. They used practical effects and the action scenes are shot nicely. Unfortunately, that isn’t enough to warrant it to be a must-see film.