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Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2: Judge Dredd

Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #24 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. Today talking about that film where “I AM THE LAW!” is a very funny thing to say, I am of course talking about Judge Dredd.

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LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW! Haha, Judge Dredd, oh yeah I remember this film. This is another film I’ve seen before and I consider it fun for all the wrong reasons. These days officially we have a much better version of this character with 2012’s Dredd, but before that awesomeness we have this version from the 90’s which is an experience to say the least.

The story can be summed up as the following:

“In a dystopian future, Joseph Dredd, the most famous Judge (a police officer with instant field judiciary powers) is convicted for a crime he did not commit while his murderous counterpart escapes.”

The story is certainly interesting but the execution is terrible. This is a tale of good versus evil, but also about betrayal, deception and revenge, that all sounds good on paper but the way this film handles these elements is very messy, muddled up and confusing. Had the film just streamlined itself and taken out a few of the narrative elements tied to other characters it would have been so much better. It also doesn’t help that there is a massive tonal inconsistency, the film is trying to be serious, but with all the one-liners, generic plot points and terrible comic relief you can’t take it seriously so when the film is trying to add drama or some emotion it feels out of place because of the cheesy and comedic tone. Also what is the scriptwriters obsession with the law? I understand that it is a very important aspect of the film, but all of the characters feel the need to mention it in every second sentence that they speak, its ridiculous and you could probably make a drinking game from it too. You’d be smashed afterward for sure.

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Now let’s talk about the cast. Firstly there’s Sylvester Stallone as Judge Dredd. Listen Stallone, I like him he’s a good actor, however, he was just terrible here. Sometimes you can’t understand what he’s saying because he’s shouting or mumbling which makes his words hard to comprehend, it also doesn’t help that he’s full of cheesy dialogue and one-liners that get old pretty fast and for a person whose supposed to be emotionless Dredd certainly likes to be a douche to people and does a lot of smiling and scowling.Rob Schneider as Fergee… This guy, he just pissed me off. Schneider tries his very best to be one of the most over-the-top, wise-cracking, wacky, silly and annoying people to ever come into existence in a film. Fergee thinks he’s witty and smart, but he’s just a fool who moans about everything and is such a little pain in the ass, I wanted him to die so many times. Oh but the person that takes the cake when it comes to over-the-top is Armand Assante as Rico Dredd. What the actual fuck man? This guy seemed like he was on some kind of drugs as he was so hyperactive, crazy, animated and ridiculous. If he’s not being creepy getting up in people’s faces then he’s shouting his lines at the top of his lungs, it does make for some humourous moments for sure but Assante is just on another level of madness.

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I liked Diane Lane as Judge Hershey. This lady is smart, loyal, confident and logical, she’s also tough and can speak her mind and Lane acts with the most amount of realism and restraint out of the main cast. Max von Sydow was good as Chief Justice Fargo, like Lane, Sydow acted with restraint and realism and wasn’t cheesy in his performance. The same can’t be said for Jürgen Prochnow as Judge Griffin, he was fine up until a point and them went a little hammy towards the end. And finally I want to give a shout out to James Earl Jones as the Narrator at the beginning of the film, it was nice and I felt like Mufasa was reading me a bedtime story or something haha.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is okay but messy.  The film was trying very hard to be visually distinctive with the look of the city and the use of special effects, but it doesn’t look to polished and the green screen and CGI doesn’t look real enough to work in the advanced environment these characters live in. The costume design was also a bit bulky and silly and I think could have been slimmed down and refined for the Judges. As for the soundtrack, Alan Silvestri does a decent job with the score creating these dramatic and heroic themes, though the use of some them in certain scenes really doesn’t match what’s happening on-screen.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? I have unfortunately not read the source material so I can’t comment.

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So to conclude Judge Dredd is pretty bad film. I can understand what it was trying to do but it failed due to its messy story, over-acting and bad dialogue. Upon second viewing things that I didn’t like were more noticeable and while I can still laugh at the film it’s not that funny this time around. This is another one of those films you can only watch if you’re in it for the comedic aspects and if you’re drunk.

Rating: 4/10

That’s 24 reviews done, only 6 more to go. So have you seen Judge Dredd and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Dredd 3D Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another film review. Today’s review will be on the second film adaptation of the Judge Dredd character in the form of Dredd aka Dredd 3D.

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Now I’m not going to lie, when I saw the trailer for this film I wasn’t interested in the film at all. There was nothing that ‘wowed’ me or got me excited for the film in any way. And it also didn’t help that in the trailer and the subsequent TV spots the song “In for the Kill (Skream’s Let’s Get Ravey remix)” by La Roux, I really don’t like that song and it was really putting me off watching this film (no joke). But I decided to give this film a shot because I like Karl Urban and I was just hoping that this film would actually be worth my time, and you know what it was actually pretty good.

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In Dredd the story goes a little something like this:

“In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop known as Judge Dredd teams with a trainee, Jude Anderson to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.”

The story in this film was good. I was surprised how adult it was as there was a lot of violence, profanity and drug and sexual references. There was a reason why Dredd was rated as an 18 film, the film doesn’t hold back on its violent and chaotic nature. The story is basically a drug bust once Dredd and Anderson get to Peach Trees and from there it’s all about the Judge’s ascension through the tower to get to Ma-Ma and take out her gang. It is a simple yet nice plot and while it starts to drag a little while Dredd and Anderson ascend up the floors to level 200, it’s still pretty interesting.

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Though it is the characters of Dredd which are really good and are best element about the film. Karl Urban as Judge Dredd was great, before I watched the film I thought he wouldn’t be intimating or badass enough. Luckily I was proven wrong as Karl Urban does a fantastic job as Dredd, he the no-nonsense, by-the-books kind of law enforcer and when you get on his bad side you might as well ask for death. Urban’s performance is miles ahead of Sylvester Stallone’s hilarious portrayal of the character in the 90s and Urban’s version smartly keeps his  helmet on throughout the film and has a very dry sense of humour too. Olivia Thirlby as Anderson was cool and was a much more interesting than I thought she’d be. Her character seems to be the emotional and relatable balance to Dredd’s distant and sometimes emotionless personality. Thirlby does well in her wrong and I was glad to see her actually kick some ass in the film too. And Leena Heady was nice as Ma-Ma, she comes across as on of those antagonists who are in a position of power and don’t have to do much because they have underlings to take care of her work for her. I like how Heady carried herself in the film, though I didn’t find her character as interesting as Dredd or Anderson.

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When it comes to the presentation of Dredd its pretty good. There is a nice, gritty and desolate look to the film from the wastelands to Mega-City One and the scenes inside of the tower of Peach Trees. Another impressive thing about the film is how realistic it looks, but has implemented CGI for the futuristic aspects. Unlike in the 90s film where the CGI was used at every given opportunity, in Dredd it’s used appropriately and is limited to certain action sequences and the futuristic city that is Mega-City One. And those fancy slow motion sequences when someone’s on “SLOW-MO” looked pretty and magical. The 3D in the film was good in the slow motion sequences, but otherwise I felt it was just as invisible as it is in other films that have post-converted 3D. As I said before this film is violent, very violent, there is a lot of death, blood and carnage in the action scenes and if you’re not into blood and gore than maybe you should avoid this film, but for me I love that kind of stuff and it worked well in Dredd. Unfortunately the soundtrack for Dredd is a little forgettable, while the action’s going down the music works but after the film’s over I don’t recall much about the music in Dredd and that is rare for me in a comic book film.

Now with Dredd I’ve heard that a lot of people liked this film a lot a for good reason, there is a lot to appreciated about this film. But for me Dredd was missing two quintessential things that make not only comic book films memorable, but just films in general and those things are; memorable action set-pieces/sequences and ‘something special’. One of the things I love about comic book, sci-fi and action films is action set-pieces/sequences, those epic moments of spectacle and well-choreographed action. The spectacle in Dredd is unfortunately nothing special or memorable, that’s not to say it ts terrible or anything, it just isn’t as amazing as film’s in its genre should be. One things that this film easily achieves is that is miles better than the first Judge Dredd film from 1995, the tone, style and adult nature of Dredd puts it in a whole other league from the 90s films.

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Dredd’s costume in the new film is much better than Stallone’s 90’s version. Urban’s uniform looks far more practical and better-looking than the 90s version.

In conclusion Dredd is a pretty good film, compared to other comic book films it’s the first time since Watchmen that I’ve seen such a brutal and more adult film in the cinema of this genre. Karl Urban gives us a fine performance as Judge Dredd, the action scenes are big and violent and I’m glad to report that this film wasn’t the boring time I thought it’d be. While Dredd doesn’t become an instant classic and is missing memorable set pieces action and sequences, it’s still a film I would recommend and if there is a sequel I would like to see what the writers comes up with.

Rating: 7.0

Well that’s been my review ladies and gents, hopefully you enjoyed and drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts on this film. Until the review this is me signing out! 🙂

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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