Judge Dredd (film)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Judge Dredd promo poster 7019.jpg
"Forget Dredd! There is no Dredd! And I'll tell you what Dredd worships...he worships tha loooaaaawww!"
I hated that plot. It was Dredd pressed through the Hollywood cliché mill, a dynastic power struggle that had little connection with the character we know from the comic.
—John Wagner,John Wagner on Dredd

A 1995 film adaptation of the comic book of the same name starring Sylvester Stallone and Armand Assante. Has an 18% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Following a nuclear war in the late 21st Century, those who survived flocked to the Mega-Cities, large urban landscapes covering hundreds of square miles. The Mega-Cities become overcrowded, giving way to wide-scale, uncontrollable crime and violence. Law and Justice, as we know them, become something of the past. To combat the rampant criminal activity, a new kind of police force is created, one with the power to dispense both justice and punishment, acting as Judge, Jury, and Executioner. They are The Judges.

The most dangerous of the Mega-Cities is Mega-City One, and to combat those dangers is toughest of the Judges. His name is Judge Dredd.

Accused of a crime he didn't commit, Judge Dredd is out to bring justice to the situation which has befallen him as he uncovers the nasty conspiracy surrounding the perfect criminal, Rico.

The film combines characters and major plot points from about five completely separate story arcs in the comics along with other minor elements from the comic's history and tries to blend it all together in a single 96-minute narrative. It's still considered to be an example of So Bad It's Good, if only for the relentlessly fun action sequences and occasional moments of very over-the-top acting.

And the game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System had events based on the film, plus extra missions during and after the film arc.

A second movie, simply called Dredd and starring Karl Urban, was made in 2012.

Tropes used in Judge Dredd (film) include:
  • A God Am I: Rico
  • Action Girl: Judge Hershey
  • The Alleged Car: The Lawmaster bike Dredd demonstrates to a class of cadets.
  • Almost-Dead Guy: former Chief Justice Fargo after being wounded.
  • Bait and Switch Gunshot: Former Chief Justice Fargo to a Capture Team member who was about to shoot Dredd.
  • Ballistic Discount: Rico. To be fair, the gun only works in the hands of a Judge, meaning that it's normally impossible to steal. Unfortunately, the shopkeeper didn't anticipate a Judge would invoke this trope.
    • The gun was also in a sealed case keyed to Rico, the shopkeeper might not have even known it was in there until it the case was opened.
  • BFG: For part of the second half of the film, Dredd ends up using Fargo's really huge shotgun.
  • Big Damn Heroes
  • Big No: Twice. Dredd does this when former Chief Justice Fargo is mortally wounded, and Judge Griffin does it just before the ABC robot rips his arms and legs off.
  • Bond One-Liner: Dredd to a criminal just after he kills him.
  • Born as an Adult: The Janus Project clones.
  • Briefcase Blaster: The gun Rico uses to shoot the prison warden in the throat.
  • Cain and Abel: Rico and Joseph Dredd.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "I knew you'd say that."
    • "I am da law!"
  • Cavalry Betrayal: The Aspen Penal Colony transport pilot thinks the Capture Team will save him.
  • Chekhovs Gun: Multiple examples
  • Clear My Name
  • Cloning Blues: Rico and Dredd in the Backstory. It makes up a major portion of the plot.
  • Dark Action Girl: Dr. Hayden.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Hayden vs Hershey
  • Disney Villain Death: Rico, courtesy of Dredd.
  • Dramatic Slip
  • Dressing as the Enemy: While Dredd is on the run from the law, he knocks out a Judge and steals his uniform.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Rico in a body bag and a technician.
  • The Faceless: Averted, although Stallone does have the helmet on for a significant portion of the movie his comic counterpart's face was never seen.
  • The Family That Slays Together: The Angel Family. As part of this adaptation, they're also a Cannibal Clan.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Future Food Is Artificial: Perhaps the one thing that best reflects the original tone of the comics: "Eat recycled food. It's good for the environment and okay for you!"
  • Future Spandex: Judges wear a lycra/spandex bodysuit undergarment under their body armor.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Dredd vs. Rico
  • Hand Blast: The ABC Warrior robot was armed with machine guns built into its hands.
  • Hand Cannon: The Lawgiver II gun used by the Judges.
  • Hollywood Law: Dredd is convicted on the strength of evidence that his defense was not informed of, which is implied to be illegal. Additionally he's convicted on the basis of only DNA evidence despite the fact that there's a psychotic Judge who happens to share Dredd's DNA and the judges (who are fully aware of this) never make an effort to check Rico's location.
  • Hook Hand: The Angel Family member Mean.
  • Hurricane of Puns: All of them having to do with law/police terms.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Fergie's and Dredd's discussion while on the transport to the Aspen Penal Colony.
  • I'm a Humanitarian
  • I Will Tear Your Arms Off: What Rico threatens to have the ABC robot do to Judge Hershey if Judge Dredd won't join him.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Vartis Hammond.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Love him or hate him, but Sly had the perfect chin for this.
  • Large Ham: Armand Assante as Rico is king, and Sylvester Stallone as Dredd during their final confrontation.
  • Leave No Witnesses: Judge Griffin is quite insistent that Dredd's shuttle crash killed everyone aboard. Quite insistent.
  • Misblamed: For some reason, everyone assumed it must have been Stallone's vanity that demanded he show his face. Nevermind that a significant portion of the movie's plot essentially requires him to remove the helmet, and that his successor Karl Urban had to fight not to remove his helmet... must have been Stallone's egomania.
  • Monumental Battle: Inside the Statue of Liberty.
  • Mugged for Disguise: How Dredd accomplishes Dressing as the Enemy.
  • Mythology Gag: The smiley face graffiti seen on the Statue of Liberty is a reference to the original comic's story "Un-American Graffiti", in which this was a signature part of a character's graffiti tag.
  • Neck Lift: The ABC robot does it to Judge Hershey.
  • The Obi-Wan: Chief Justice Fargo
  • Offhand Backhand: Dredd to another Judge who was trying to arrest him.
  • Offered the Crown: Dredd is asked to become the new Chief Judge, but turns this down because he prefers paroling the city streets.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Dredd and Fergie must do this when they infiltrate the city via an incinerator vent which spews out a fireball every thirty seconds.
  • Outscare the Enemy: The way Block Warlord deals with one of his underlings considering surrendering to Dredd.

"You want to be afraid of somebody, be afraid of ME!"

Dredd: Emotions, there oughta be a law against them.