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THE F*CKING BLACK SHEEP: Judge Dredd (1995)

01.05.2012by: Ryan Doom

THE BLACK SHEEP is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATH. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Dig in!

Judge Dredd (1995)
Directed by Danny Cannon

“Looking back…Dredd might have been ahead of its time.”

Judge Dredd could be one of the dumbest movies ever. I can’t think of anything dumber (ok, I can but let’s stick to the subject). It is the Movie Centipede. At the head are the visuals and tone of Blade Runner. In the middle rests the costuming of Batman and Robin. The ass consists of Stallone and his cheesy one-liners, eating up his own shit. Dredd wanted so, so badly to be the best sci-fi action movie of all time yet it became perhaps one of Stallone’s more forgettable outings, and one of his biggest bombs. Looking back, however, Dredd might have been ahead of its time. Visually it really pushed technology, and there’s some fine action sequences, catch phrases and a big ass robot to boot. Yeah, so it could have probably provided thicker social commentary, but leave that to smarter films. As is, Dredd adds up to an damn entertaining movie. Terrible, yes, but that’s just the time and place.

During that summer of 1995, the over-the-top organism of bullets, muscles, and witty retorts was the shit. It seemed like every summer a new blockbuster starring Stallone or Schwarzenegger came out until things got ridiculous and the genre had to be put down like a cat with four broken legs. Audiences weren’t buying the human action figure. I understand. I get it. Perhaps if Stallone (who reportedly controlled the movie and made hella demands) had made some minor adjustments, this could have been his next franchise. It could have been his Blade Runner, the sci-fi action extravaganza of the 1990s.

But it wasn’t. On the surface, Judge Dredd is a bad movie. The plot is lame, the acting is stiff, and the costumes are perhaps some of the worst ever put in a major film. As soon as the Judges made their first appearance on set, someone should have had the balls to speak the truth. Looking back though, the movie has everything. It's got the dystopian world in Mega City where anarchy reigns. It's got blood, shoot outs. It's got robots. It's got flying cars. It's even got inbred Hillbillies. In the hands of any other actor minus Arnold, Judge Dredd would have been unwatchable. Instead, Stallone sells it, keeping a straight face while repeating lines about the law every three second and sporting a pair of giant shoulder pads with plastic gold glued to them. He is this movie and never lets the goofiness get in the way of some serious ass kicking. This is Stallone at his peak.

What’s even more impressive is that Stallone grew about six inches during the making of this movie. Sure, some actors put on weight, others wear wigs, others attach fake noses. Not Stallone. Apparently, he really, really worked on stretching in order to be six inches taller than everyone on set. It’s hilarious. Watch for his boots, which are thicker than what Frankenstein’s Monster sports.

Along with Stallone, villain Armand Assante makes Judge Dredd worthy. He’s equally as good because the guy knows how to play it crazy. Here, he plays Rico, Stallone’s test tube brother from another mother who’s bent on rewriting the law. Rico makes it his mission to destroy everything and frames Dredd by killing government officials while wearing his football helmet and pads. Actually, none of that matters because he’s the bad guy, which he’s perfect at. I’m a little surprised he never got more roles than he did.

I hate to end on a negative note, but Judge Dredd perhaps is remembered best as a buddy comedy of sorts. How could anyone forget the chemistry between Stallone and Rob Schneider? Sure, maybe they’re not exactly Riggs and Murtough or Reggie Hammond and Jack Cates or Tango and Cash, but they at least have some...memorable moments. No, Schneider truly is the weak link here. He’s the Jar Jar of Judge Dredd. I’m sure this was supposed to be the movie that launched him into becoming a comedy legend. In Schneider’s defense, his lines are terrible and his character is worthless. I’ve never seen a thinner character in a major film. He’s listed in the credits as “Comic Relief.” It’s funny that his most memorable line was an unscripted one, where he imitates Stallone and his "law" without fear. Maybe the 2012 incarnation starring Karl Urban won’t repeat that mistake. Or they might cast Rosie O’Donnell instead.

GET JUDGE DREDD DVD HERE

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+0
1:48PM on 01/12/2012
Glad to see people coming out and showing love for this movie! This film was great! Take it for what it is, and thats a good action flick!! wish they would air it on tv more!
Glad to see people coming out and showing love for this movie! This film was great! Take it for what it is, and thats a good action flick!! wish they would air it on tv more!
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+1
4:59PM on 01/08/2012
I love Judge Dredd and anyone who doesn't can jump off a cliff.
I love Judge Dredd and anyone who doesn't can jump off a cliff.
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12:03PM on 01/08/2012
I just love this movie. Sure it might not be a good adaptation of Judge Dredd people would have loved but I do. The wardrobes and motorcycles were spot on. Less Rob Schneider would be nice. Nevertheless, Diane Lane as Judge "Hottie" Hershey is so fine in my book :]
I just love this movie. Sure it might not be a good adaptation of Judge Dredd people would have loved but I do. The wardrobes and motorcycles were spot on. Less Rob Schneider would be nice. Nevertheless, Diane Lane as Judge "Hottie" Hershey is so fine in my book :]
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4:14AM on 01/06/2012

Wrong comic

This was an adaptation of the US comic version of JD and not the original UK comic. The effects were good and Mean MAchine was good but the film was generally crap!
This was an adaptation of the US comic version of JD and not the original UK comic. The effects were good and Mean MAchine was good but the film was generally crap!
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10:12PM on 01/05/2012

fuck this article...wont even read it.

I love Judge Dredd. the character and the movie. i rewatch this film, on purpose, every few months. was it a spot-on adaptation? no. but they got a great deal right. the uniform was wonderfully translated into a ''real life'' version. mean angel's make-up was astounding. there was the inclusion of an ABC warrior. for fuck sake they even put chopper's smiley on the statue of liberty's cheek. mark my words...this movie will look like a grand adaptation after Dredd comes out.
(dont get me wrong,
I love Judge Dredd. the character and the movie. i rewatch this film, on purpose, every few months. was it a spot-on adaptation? no. but they got a great deal right. the uniform was wonderfully translated into a ''real life'' version. mean angel's make-up was astounding. there was the inclusion of an ABC warrior. for fuck sake they even put chopper's smiley on the statue of liberty's cheek. mark my words...this movie will look like a grand adaptation after Dredd comes out.
(dont get me wrong, i do hope that Dredd is a good film on its own, but so far its shown nothing that looks adapted from any Judge Dredd comic i ever read)
i will champion sly's dredd until the day my heart stops beating. it was a helluva fun ride and, so far, its the best Judge Dredd movie ever made.......except for RoboCop, of course.
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10:58AM on 01/06/2012
You know that this article is a positive review of Dredd right? maybe you shouldn't fuck it...:)
You know that this article is a positive review of Dredd right? maybe you shouldn't fuck it...:)
7:21PM on 01/05/2012
I liked this movie as well. But this is one of those films that I'd like to see in their director's cut (here, 2H10') instead of the mediocre producer's cut, like Avengers.
On the other hand, without JD bombing at the Box Office, We might never had CSI, Danny Cannon being one the show front runners.
I liked this movie as well. But this is one of those films that I'd like to see in their director's cut (here, 2H10') instead of the mediocre producer's cut, like Avengers.
On the other hand, without JD bombing at the Box Office, We might never had CSI, Danny Cannon being one the show front runners.
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4:43PM on 01/05/2012
Sign me up as another that liked this movie. Sure it was a forgettable piece of fluff, but so what. Yeah it lacked social commentary but so did 3/4 of Stallone's other movies.
Sign me up as another that liked this movie. Sure it was a forgettable piece of fluff, but so what. Yeah it lacked social commentary but so did 3/4 of Stallone's other movies.
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3:12PM on 01/05/2012
I love this movie! It's strange, it's not what you would call a great movie but it's that old school fun action scifi flick. Whats also crazy is the cast, other than Schneider. I love Armand Assante, always wished he did more. Max Von Sydow is always great as well.
I love this movie! It's strange, it's not what you would call a great movie but it's that old school fun action scifi flick. Whats also crazy is the cast, other than Schneider. I love Armand Assante, always wished he did more. Max Von Sydow is always great as well.
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2:21PM on 01/05/2012
It's edited too tightly and Rob Schneider blows but I love it as a whole; very fun flick with a great score...
It's edited too tightly and Rob Schneider blows but I love it as a whole; very fun flick with a great score...
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9:52AM on 01/05/2012
Without Rob Schneider the movie would have been better. I also think that the movie isn't as bad as people say.
Without Rob Schneider the movie would have been better. I also think that the movie isn't as bad as people say.
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9:40AM on 01/05/2012
I fucking love this movie and I'm not ashamed of it. I remember seeing it with my Dad in theatre as a little kid and we had a blast and still do.
Also can't forget how smokin' hot Diane Lane was in that Judge outfit! :)
I fucking love this movie and I'm not ashamed of it. I remember seeing it with my Dad in theatre as a little kid and we had a blast and still do.
Also can't forget how smokin' hot Diane Lane was in that Judge outfit! :)
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