Mr. Adventure wrote:
Taking this movie strictly on its own terms I don't know that there's more to explore. Sure Dredd didn't take his helmet off but why?
Because Dredd's helmet does not come off. Okay, seriously, he is briefly seen without the helmet in the opening scene showing him getting the gear on. Of course, the scene isn't well lit and the helmet-less Dredd is shot from behind. It's my understanding that whenever Dredd has his helmet off in the comics, similar tricks are done to avoid seeing his face.
I imagine a protential sequel could focus on the Cursed Earth, which I think is mentioned in Dredd's opening narration.
The old Dredd had Rob Schneider but it seemed to do a better job showing the world of the Judges. I'm curious to watch that again, it's been a lo-o-ong time, and compare.
Well, the main problem I have with the Stallone movie is that it took too much from the comics and crammed it into one movie that was barely an hour and a half. Considering the target audience were American filmgoers who likely likely had no idea there were Judge Dredd comics since the 1970s I can see a lot of people being confused by the movie and having difficulty following it.
Although really, the Stallone movie isn't really that bad and is a lot more faithful than most give it credit for. People always call the movie cheesy, but really the Dredd comics have their degree of silliness to them. Robotic butler, oranguatan mayor, a goldfish being named a Judge. Does anything in the Stallone movie really seem any more outrageous than any of that?
The problem is they screwed on a lot of key things that are unique to the Dredd-verse. Yeah, I know it's unlikely they could get an actor of Stallone's pay grade to agree to a movie where his face would have been hidden for most of it, and indeed Arnold backed out of it for that very reason. So I can let the whole helmet thing slide. But then there's also the fact that Judges are forbidden from having relationships with each other (or at all, really). Yet this movie has Dredd and Hershey falling in love like the male and female leads of all Hollywood movies are expected to.
Also, I found Dredd himself came off as nothing more than a mean-spirited bully. Granted, Dredd is never a nice guy, and I'm sure the terms mean-spirited and bully have been applied to him in the comics to some degree of accuracy. But based on my (admittedly very limited) knowledge of the character based on Karl Urban's take on the character and some Judge Dredd novels I've read Dredd seems more like someone who tries to do the right thing and be a decent person, he just doesn't believe in social niceties or having any kind of manners or redeeming personality traits. Stallone's take on the character is basically just "Ha ha, I'm a tough guy who can kick your ass and get away with it and if you have a problem with that I will kick your ass."