JUDGE DREDD
Directed by Danny Cannon. USA. 1995.


Talking Pictures alias talkingpix.co.uk
 


 
 

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Judge Dredd is tough.

In the year 2139 in Mega City One (New York in the future) there are no more lawyers...no more trials...no more juries...no more appeals. The Judges are the law - Judge, Jury and Executioner. 

Directed by 27-year-old Briton, Danny Cannon, Judge Dredd is an action-adventure based on the leading character in the popular British science fiction comic 2000 AD. Judge Dredd as his name suggests is the most legendary and feared of all the judges and its appropriate hes played by Sylvester Stallone. 

The formulaic story mixed with cartoonish violence easily put-off the critics and the expectations from Judge Dredd comic fans were never likely to be satisfactorily fulfilled. Even for Stallone fans this film might have gone a bit too far, one reviewer notes:

 
Judge Dredd in widescreen glory.'Stallone looks absolutely silly in his Gianni Versaci-designed leather and gold outfit. It gets worse when he opens his mouth. Stallone must have had dental work during the production and the Novocain hadn't worn off yet. He garbles lines like "I'm The Law!" and "I Knew You Would Say That" like someone was tugging on a fishing hook on the side of his mouth.'
John Larsen
The real stars of the film are the action sequences and special effects. Considerable effort was made to create this Bladerunner clone-world, the film's makers even approached Land Rover via its Marketing Department to build the vehicles. The company exceeded all expectations when Rover's Design Department, led by Gorden Sked, submitted its own designs on how the last vehicle on earth might look. 

Designer David Woodhouse, 26, explains, "In the past I had done quite a lot of theoretical work on futuristic Land Rovers. When I heard about the project I adapted these ideas into something that could be based on an existing chassis and was appropriate to the film script. As soon as the producer and director of the film saw the drawings, and then a model, Land Rover immediately won the contract to supply the vehicles." 

Speaking about the Judge Dredd project David added:
 

"We based the design on the Land Rover 101 Forward Control, a model used mainly by the military. We did this as the vehicles had to be fairly large -as the script called for these taxis to be capable of carrying six passengers within a highly protected cell. 

Roving into the future, quite a discovery..enough, enough."We had less than three months to complete the design process, including producing quarter and full sized models before delivering the finished vehicles to the film set. At one point up to 20 people from Rover Group Design worked on the project. We also had to make sure that all 31 vehicles could be driven including one with a fully designed and equipped interior.

The result is a vehicle looking more than capable of taking on a world which has such a hostile environment. The futuristic look and aggressive stance has been enhanced by avoiding rounded body panels and edges, extending the wheels by ten inches and using very small windows.


Certainly this futuristic and aggressive Rover fits the bill better than the comic-book coloured Stallone, but I must admit despite its descent into science fiction cliche for noisy action eye-candy its quite tasty. Does that put me at the front of the queue for an aesthetic taste transplant?

Nigel Watson
 
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