Judge Dredd is a 1995 American science fiction action film, based on the comic book character of the same name, directed by Danny Cannon, produced by Edward R. Pressman, Charles Lippincott and Beau E. L. Marks, and written by William Wisher Jr. and Steven E. de Souza. The film stars Sylvester Stallone, Diane Lane, Rob Schneider, Armand Assante, and Max von Sydow. The film takes place in 2080 and depicts a dystopian world and the crime-ridden metropolis Mega-City 1. Following an unspecified disaster that turned Earth into a "cursed" wasteland, the survivors established a corps of Judges whose role combines that of police, judge, jury and executioner. The film follows Judge Joseph Dredd, one of the most dedicated Street Judges who had been framed for murder by his own half-brother—the psychotic Rico.
The film was released on June 30, 1995. Reviewers criticized the film for its lack of script, originality, and faith to its source material, along with Stallone's excessive acting. The film is considered to be one of Stallone's worst films, but received praise for its visual style, effects, stunts and action sequences, having been nominated for Saturn Awards. The film's reboot titled Dredd was released in 2012, starring Karl Urban in the title role.
Plot[edit | edit source]
By the 2080s, much of Earth has become an uninhabitable wasteland. While some humans manage to survive in the barren "Cursed Earth", the majority of humanity resides in huge Mega-Cities with populations of tens of millions. To combat crime, the traditional justice system has been replaced by a corps of Judges whose role combines those of police officer, judge, jury, and executioner.
In Mega-City One, 2139, Joseph Dredd, one of the most dedicated "Street Judges", assists first-year Judge Hershey in ending a block war. Herman "Fergee" Ferguson, a hacker recently released from prison, is caught in the firefight and hides inside a food dispensing robot. Dredd arrests Herman for destruction of property, and sentences him to five years' imprisonment. Rico, a former Judge, escapes from prison with the help of Judge Griffin. He returns to Mega-City One and reclaims his uniform and "Lawgiver" gun. He also finds and reactivates a decommissioned ABC Warrior combat robot.
Hammond, a news reporter critical of Dredd is murdered, and Dredd becomes the chief suspect. Dredd is taken to a trial before a tribunal of Council Judges including Griffin and Chief Justice Fargo, his mentor. Dredd is found guilty as his DNA is found on the bullets used to kill Hammond (a feature of the Lawgiver is imprinting the user's DNA on each bullet, a fact apparently unknown by most Judges). To save Dredd, Fargo steps down as Chief Justice and, for his last request, asks the Council to spare Dredd's life. Dredd is sentenced to life imprisonment while Fargo embarks on the "long walk", in which a retiring Judge ventures into the wasteland "to bring law to the lawless". Griffin, who freed Rico to frame Dredd for the murder, becomes Chief Justice and instructs Rico to cause chaos in the city.
Dredd is taken to the Aspen penal colony via airship, where he sits next to Herman. En route, the ship is shot down by the Angel Gang, a family of cannibalistic scavengers and bandits. They bring Dredd and Herman back to their cave. A squad of Judges investigate the crashed ship and get to the cave, intent on killing any survivors, not rescuing them. Fargo arrives in time to save Dredd's life, but is mortally wounded by Mean Machine Angel. A dying Fargo reveals that Dredd and Rico are the result of the Janus project, an experiment in genetic engineering intended to create the perfect Judge. Dredd deduces Rico framed him for the reporter's murder, using their identical DNA. Believing Griffin is trying to reactivate the Janus project, Fargo urges Dredd to stop him.
In Mega-City One, Rico terrorizes the city and assassinates Judges in various ways. Griffin uses the situation to convince the Council Judges to unlock the Janus files. He plans to create an army of Judges from his DNA. After the Council Judges unlock the file, Griffin has them killed. Dredd and Herman sneak back into the city and meet with Hershey, who had also discovered the Janus project by herself. They go to the Statue of Liberty where the Janus laboratories are. They encounter the ABC Warrior, which wounds Herman and captures Dredd and Hershey. Rico uses his own DNA as template for the Janus clones, then commands the ABC Warrior to kill Griffin. Herman, despite his wounds, disables the ABC Warrior as Dredd fights Rico, while Hershey fights his assistant, Dr. Ilsa Hayden. Rico activates his clones prematurely, but they fail to stop Dredd, and the swift clone activation ends up destroying the Janus laboratory. Dredd pursues Rico to the top of the Statue of Liberty, and a final struggle sends Rico falling to his death.
Central, the city's controlling supercomputer, has recorded the entire event and broadcasts the information, clearing Dredd's name. The remaining Judges ask him to become the new Chief Justice, but he refuses, preferring to remain a street judge.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Sylvester Stallone as Judge Joseph Dredd
- Armand Assante as Rico Dredd
- Rob Schneider as Herman "Fergie" Fergusson
- Diane Lane as Judge Barbara Hershey
- Jürgen Prochnow as Judge Griffin
- Max von Sydow as Chief Justice Fargo
- Joanna Miles as Judge McGruder
- Joan Chen as Dr. Ilsa Hayden
- Balthazar Getty as Cadet Nathan Olmeyer
- Maurice Roëves as Warden Miller
- Ian Dury as Geiger
- Mitchell Ryan as Vartis Hammond
- Bradley Lavelle as Chief Judge Hunter
- Lex Daniel as Brisco, a rookie cadet
- Scott Wilson as Pa Angel
- Christopher Adamson as Mean Machine Angel
- Ewen Bremner as Junior Angel
- Phil Smeeton as Link Angel
- Peter Marinker as Judge Carlos Esposito
- Angus MacInnes as Judge Silver
- Mark Moraghan as Judge Monroe
- Al Sapienza as Judge Gellar
James Earl Jones provides the narration to the film's opening text crawl. Adrienne Barbeau provides the voice of the Hall of Justice Central Computer. James Remar makes an uncredited appearance as the Block Warlord in the opening sequence.