Judge Dredd [1995]

Director: Adrian Biddle, Danny Cannon
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Armand Assante, Rob Schneider, Jurgen Prochnow, Max Von Sydow
Genre: Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 96 minutes

Judge Dredd is one of those movies that doesn't have a brain of its own, so it can only rip off a lot of ingredients from other, better movies. It's a mishmash of Blade Runner, Total Recall, and The Road Warrior, with a dash of Star Wars tossed in for good measure. As if that weren't enough, it's got Sylvester Stallone, who seems to be the only one in the movie who's in on the game and knows it's all a sci-fi scam. Like The Fifth Element a few years later, Judge Dredd depicts a futuristic megalopolis packed with crowded vertical overgrowth and rampant commerce, where anarchy reigns supreme. Violent "block wars" are fought by lawless citizens with machine guns, and Judge Dredd (Stallone) is one of the city's heavily armed policemen, given free rein to judge and execute the perpetrators of violence. But Dredd himself is subjected to judgment and swift justice when his own gun is identified in the murder of a prominent TV reporter, forcing him to do whatever he can to clear his name. Diane Lane plays his partner in crime-fighting and romance, and Rob Schneider provides juvenile comic relief as Dredd's streetwise sidekick. Impressive special effects are on vivid display, and the movie's fun for what it's worth. Lower your expectations and you just might enjoy it. --Jeff Shannon

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