September 21, 2012
On the Big Board
||You might shy away if you're squeamish because of detailed wounds, but they're oddly not as gruesome as Django. Great soundtrack, solid action.
So, who was the guy who asked for a remake of Judge Dredd? Did someone lose a bet? Was it the last wish of a dying child? Bad meat will eventually stop stinking, but that doesn’t mean you should put it on the grill, right? Well hold onto your helmets, kids. Lionsgate has fired up the grill and they’re cooking up a nice, juicy slab of Dredd as I write this. Forget the nightmare that was the 1995 original, we are being reassured. This time around the film will be “darker” and “grittier.” This time the movie will be “true to the comic.”
THIS TIME, THE HELMET STAYS ON!
Well, that’s great. The sound you hear right now is called “squee,” and it’s coming from the hundreds of Judge Dredd fanboys around the world who threatened bloody vengeance if Dredd ever took his hat off again. As for everyone else, if they remember the Stallone version, they’re going to think long and hard about it before they laugh themselves sick and decide not to go. Others might simply wonder what’s up with the stubbly space cop who never takes his helmet off.
I’m not trying to be discouraging. In fact I’m looking for highlights, because every film deserves a chance, right? I like Karl Urban. He’s cool, and should definitely be a little more famous than he is. Lena Headey is the Daniel Craig of Sarah Connors. They got the screenwriter from 28 Days Later. There’s bound to be a ton of violence. There’s a rumor it’s going to be dark and gritty and authentic. I hear the guy who created the character loves it. On the other hand, the director’s resume is shorter than mine. And it’s going to be rated R.
Much of this of course, is speculation. Bottom line, Lionsgate would do well not to schedule this the same weekend as a Brad Pitt movie, because if there’s anything else worth seeing that weekend, the Judge might get a beating. In 1995, Stallone still had the draw to get butts in seats - that factor is gone this time. It’ll be hard to position this as more than just another modestly budgeted action film with an OK cast that’s available on Blu-Ray before you know it.
Then again it’s NOT a Stallone film, and last I heard Rob Schneider hasn’t been seen in years. So, for many people that will be a plus. Another one might be that if Dredd indeed hews close to the comic that spawned it, perhaps it will inspire and motivate a whole new generation of fans.
Maybe. But don’t hold your breath. (Bruce Hall/BOP)