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Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘JUDGE DREDD – We are the Law’

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Judge Dredd—which is based on the character from 2000 AD, a weekly British comic—is a sadly generic action film that fails to grasp the subversive nature of its character. 

The titular judge—and the system in which he serves—is written as a commentary on the overly aggressive tactics of American law enforcement. The movie, despite nailing the look and feel of Mega-City One and its characters, plays it much more straight forward. Sylvester Stallone, the literal Judge Joseph Dredd, is meant to be the hero.

Sylvester Stallone as Judge Joseph Dredd

And as an audience, you’re meant to ignore that he’s clearly a fascist in fancy, eagle-adorned clothing. That’s sort of the tragedy of this film. It never knows what it wants to be. This is due in no small part to Stallone’s clashes with the director, Danny Cannon. Cannon, who was a fan of the comic, wanted the movie to have a darker edge to it.

The execs and its star wanted to aim more for a standard summer blockbuster. It accomplished neither. And as a result, it tanked with both critics and audiences. On a budget of $90 million, it grossed just over $113 million worldwide. Its 20% Rotten Tomatoes score (with 54 reviews) is a little harsh, but not much.

All that aside, there is some fun to be had in Judge Dredd. The practical effects are top notch—kudos to the Angel Gang—Rob Schneider is inexplicably in it, and Armand Assante seems to be aiming for a Lifetime Achievement Razzie with just this performance.

So sit back, send a signal flare to your tastebuds with a Molotov Cocktail Imperial IPA from Evil Twin Brewing Co., and set your Law Bringer to Double Whammy! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. CashChumpzillaMayor McCheese, and a special guest are passing down harsh judgements up and down the block war!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – Like the opening pod of this series, most of this movie is Over the Top, and not necessarily in a good way. (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions – For everything this movie does well, it does so much more poorly; but could it have been salvaged? (42:47)
  • The “I Knew You’d Say That” Trivia Challenge – Capt. Cash challenges the field to trivia centered around the movie. (1:03:31)
  • Recommendations – We offer our picks for the week, and next up in our “Tango and Captain Cash” series: pour yourself a shot of Bulleit Bourbon for Bullet to the Head! (1:16:02)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the casting what-ifs and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotifyAcastTuneIniHeartRadio, and Amazon Music!

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Thomas L. Kelly

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