So, DREDD (2012) vs JUDGE DREDD (1995)…
There’s no contest, is there? 2012′s DREDD, starring Karl Urban, wins hands-down. Urban captures the morose, no-nonsense Lawman perfectly and who better than Wagner and Esquerra themselves to ensure Garland and Travis whip up a credible Dredd without all the cardinal sins of the 1995 Stallone outing (removal of helmet/ grinning/ romancing the ladies).
But for all its faults, Stallone’s JUDGE DREDD does have some redeeming features.
In terms of capturing that old-school cyberpunk vibe of Mega City One, the 1995 movie is probably the most faithful to the comics. Urban’s Mega City One is less vivid, going more for a dystopian, noir vibe which very much suits the movie. But, geez, no kneepads?
The cast isn’t the worst, either. Max von Sydow actually makes a great Fargo and Stallone, while definitely a more pantomine Dredd than Urban, does on occasion capture the character quite well; that forlornness; the blending of Dredd’s brutality and humanity; the chin. Ultimately, it all goes too far, but with a better script and less hammy direction, could Stallone have been a more successful Joe? Maybe.
But let’s not get too carried away: Since watching it, 2012′s DREDD has become one of my all-time favourite movies, period. Like many, I’m hopeful for a second outing for Urban, signing the official petition to try and make that happen.
In the meantime, we have UNDERBELLY, the official comic book sequel released just this week by 2000AD. We have a couple of interesting fan films; the excellent JUDGE MINTY and 2013′s promising CURSED EDGE. And last, but not least, we have the Prog and Meg themselves; while the vast majority of brit comics have long since bitten the dust, 2000AD remains strong.
And that’s something, right?