1977 the character Judge Dredd creator writer John Wagner artist Carlos Ezquerra for The British science fiction anthology 2000 AD. In the UK Judge Dredd is extremely popular being named as the seventh greatest comic book character.
In the far future, earth has been devastated and mankind has been forced to live in walled cities throughout the planet. The largest ones is in the United States referred to as mega-city one, here 800 million people live in a location capable of only housing maybe less than half that. Lawlessness has prevailed thus creating the need for a policed state i.e. the Judges. They are literally the law capable of being judge, jury and the occasional executioner.
In between these large walled cities is a place constantly called the Cursed Earth. Continuing on we have cloning since Judge Dredd and his brother Rico are clones, time travel, and Robot Wars, Psychic Judges, Aliens, Dimensional Jump Technology, Mutants, and can’t forget from the Alien Saga the Xenomorphs, and Batman.
Now in 1995 action film called Judge Dredd with Sylvester Stallone and Diane Lane, Rob Schneider, Armand Assante, and Max von Sydow. This particular movie basically shows us the world of Judge Dredd, and the police state. It tries to tie in to the storyline of both Dredd and brother Rico, and how Dredd became a Judge and how Rico turned evil and was judged by Dredd. Rico escapes from prison with the assistance of a Council judge. Rico wrecks havoc on the city, killing many street judges, Judge Dredd is implicated in a murder he did not commit and is found guilty. Eventually Dredd returns and defeats’s brother. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this movie so I had to watch it again and well it has a good story and some great special effects, I feel Sylvester Stallone as Judge Dredd, they could’ve done better with a possibly unknown actor. I mean the repeated lines “I knew you say that”, “I am the law”and a few others. The judges outfits/costumes doesn’t look like it would even stop a bullet, and the motorcycle, I’m sorry that’s just weird.
In 2012, Dredd 3-D came out with Karl Urban playing the character of Judge Dredd. This new movie, instead of trying to tell you the whole story of Judge Dredd it decides or the writers decided to tell you/show you just one day or basically two days. The story and the atmosphere is grittier with very little special effects, no flashy costumes or hovercrafts or aliens or things that just don’t make a lot of sense, instead they kept it grounded, yes there is a lot of gunplay, explosions and blood and guts and death. Storyline pretty much takes place in a large city sized complex referred to as a mega block, 200 stories tall and basically takes up more than one block, it looks like maybe 10 blocks.
Judge Dredd and a new rookie judge, whose a mutant psychic, enter this mega block, to check out a series of murders. They uncover a gang hit, with a new drug referred to as Slo-Mo, the head drug Lord known as Ma-Ma and her drug lab. During Dredd’s investigation, Ma-Ma and her gang set out to take down the judges. The judges prevail of course and Ma-Ma is taken down. For me, I liked this movie, it wasn’t flashy nor cartoony. It had a sense of realism that I feel brought it down to earth.
Even though I was not a fan of Sylvester Stallone’s Judge Dredd I do have it in my collection, I may watch it from time to time just to laugh but the new one with Karl Urban is much better and yes it is part of my collection.