With the upcoming remake of this movie, it’s prime time to check out the original Judge Dredd from 1995. Starring none other than the irreplaceable Sylvester Stallone (I mean that in a funny context) and Max von Sydow (not funny, he is great). I think that they could have used the CGI much better in this movie or cut it out completely. Mostly because some of the scenes seem painfully amateurish. This especially goes for the flying scenes that make the whole movie look a bit weird.
But on the positive side, Judge Dredd 1995 edition is really charming. And some of the sets are truly impressive along with phenomenal make-up. This becomes apparent when Dredd and his buddy Fergie find themselves on that distant planet. That half-man half-cyborg thing called Mean with metal bars for collar bones looks positively terrifying. Especially if you’ve never seen something like that before.
When Sly says “I am thhhe Looooowww” I get a boner and start laughing at the same time… And with, at that time, really funny Rob Schneider as comic relief this movie classifies as one of those guilty pleasures. It has a runtime of just ninety minutes and pretty fast pacing, making it really easy to watch.
There’s this sense of adventure and excitement in the air as we’re about to embark on a perilous journey. Plus, it’s always fun to think about ways things could go in the future. And things did not go well for us in the Dredd universe although I have a strange feeling that this actually might become our reality one day.
In a not-so-distant future, the justice system suffered some changes, some major changes. Due to its slow process, now the city employs Judges, elite policemen, and judges all wrapped in one person. The most feared of them all is Judge Dredd. However, his brutally efficient methods are creating a lot of trouble for powers that be. So, they decide to get rid of him by throwing him in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, Dredd must fight his way to justice.
The music composed by phenomenal Alan Silvestri (Predator, Back to the Future, Forrest Gump) adds another dimension to this movie. It’s simply that good. This is a classic example of a big nineties action movie with lavish sets and witty one-liners. Granted, some of them didn’t age well but what’s done is done. Demolition Man or Fifth Element are much better examples of that sweet blend of science fiction and action. So, do check them out if you’re looking for more of the same.
Finally, after seeing just how good the remake of this movie was I had to mention it here. While the original Judge Dredd 1995 now offers a lot of old-school nostalgia, the new one is one hell of an action-packed and violent extravaganza. You can read all about it here.
Director: Danny Cannon
Writers: John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, Michael De Luca
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Armand Assante, Rob Schneider, Jürgen Prochnow, Max von Sydow, Diane Lane
Fun Facts: The scene in which Fergie mocks Dredd was improvised. It turned out to be so funny that they’ve decided to keep in the movie.