This film is full of action and plot twists that can entertain even those that would hate it. The haters are the die hard fans that didn’t like the fact that Dredd’s helmet was removed. I know it wasn’t in the comic and that threw me at first but you have to get past little things like that to be able to enjoy this film. This film does have the grittiness that is in the comics and I feel that the film does pay homage to that, so quite thinking about the damned helmet. There is so much more to this film then the helmet, there are explosions, intrigue, treachery, horror, blood and hover bike chases. There is even a bit of humor in the film, though I will admit it needed more humorous pranks to stay truer to the comic. As an action movie based on a comic book this film does well, better then some other comic book films and you know what I mean. You will not be bored watching this film.
Judge Joseph Dredd (Sylvester Stallone) and his sidekick Judge Hershey (Diane Lane) are Street Judges on the streets of Mega City One. His job is to see that justice is served by being judge, jury and if necessary executioner. Lets face it, he executes a lot in both the film and the comic book. The streets are in a state of utter chaos and he and the other judges do what they can to bring order to the whole system. And why are all these millions of people in just one place? It is because the Earth has been scorched and ruined by wars, famine and general neglect by the human race and all of humanity have huddle into mega cities of which Mega City One is just one of. If it were not for the Judges there would be no law at all inside the cities at all. With so much unrest the law system that we have today would not be able to cope with them, the Judges change all of that. They are able to arrest an individual and then hear the case right on the spot and then determine the guilt or innocents of the subject right then and there. If guilty they are either remanded to the prison system, fined or in some extreme cases executed. Considering the state of the cities that last option happens more often then that.
Judge Griffin (Jurgen Prochnow) wants control of the Council of Judges and will do anything to get that control away from Chief Justice Fargo (Max von Sydow). He wants Fargo out of the way so that he can reactivate the Janus Project and make the Council and Judges over in his own image. The Janus Project tried to make the perfect Judges by working with the DNA of the Council, keeping the best traits and weeding out the worst with genetic manipulation. Chief Justice Fargo’s DNA was used as a template for this process so in a way he is the genetic father of both Judge Dredd and Judge Rico (Armand Assante) who was an utter failure as a Judge. The perfect candidate to carry out Griffin’s nefarious plans. Griffin secreted away Rico after Rico was sentenced to death by Dredd for the wanton slaughter of innocents. Rico believed they were all guilty, it was just a mater of timing so he decided to just judge them now instead of later.
Dredd never knew that Rico was his brother, he was never told. Rico was his friend and when he had to judge him it changed him, it hardened him. It made him a walking textbook of the law, a man with no real emotions, just a took of the law that he carries around in his pocket and it is the only thing that he believes in. This is a man that is so deep into the letter of the law that for him there is nothing else and no such thing as wiggle room for interpretation. He doesn’t judge or question the law he just executes it. It is because of this one single minded pursuit of the law that makes him feared and reviled by just about every single criminal in Mega City One and also the perfect target for Griffin to use. You see Dredd and Rico have the same exact DNA profile as they were created from the same genetic template. Griffin has the best weapon possible to get rid of Dredd, his own DNA.
The Law Giver 2 tags every round that comes out of it the genetic profile of the user of the gun. That is also how it can tell if someone other then a Judge picked it up. Since Dredd and Rico share the same profile Griffin has Rico kill a rather public and nosy reporter. This has 2 functions for Griffin, it gets rid of the snoop and it will convict Dredd so that he will not be around to stop all the chaos that he has in store for the city and the Council.
Even if you are a die hard fan you can still enjoy this film as it is entertaining, full of action and just fun to watch. If you can’t find a way to get past the helmet then Crud take you then. Maybe the next rendition will placate you. For everyone else, get ready for a wild right through Mega City One and the Cursed Earth.
I give this film a Musing review of