I had read the comic book here and there, and I just didn't get into it all that much. I guess it was a character that showed promise -- so far as I cared -- but I didn't quite see Dredd with the face and/or the voice of Sly Stallone in my head when I read it. That little variable can produce an effect on moviegoers -- even fans of a particular property -- and I probably ended up seeing this one theatrically against my better judgment. Stallone had done well in Science Fiction before -- 1993's Demolition Man is a great popcorn flick -- so I went in anyway. Plus ... Diane Lane? Have I ever mentioned how lovely she is? Again: I didn't see her as being a great choice for one of the judges, but Diane Lane is still Diane Lane, and that likely brought me in as well.
Though I've never been much of a Rob Schneider fan, I thought he ended up being one of the bright spots in an otherwise dreary and formulaic affair. He brought some laughs and filled out the part of an affable enough screen sidekick, clearly playing against Stallone's straight-faced visage, and I guess it's best to be thankful for that small favor. Armand Assante is always worth viewing, and the delicious Joan Chen -- who won over fandom in no small fashion with her turn aboard TV's Twin Peaks -- rounded out the principles nicely enough.
Though I haven't seen this one in years, it's the kind of project that I kinda/sorta wonder if it had been both greenlit and fast-tracked because the Batman films had reinvigorated interest in comic book properties. With Stallone being a box office draw more often than not, perhaps it was some studio's desire to get him into that world as quickly and as painlessly as possible, with a search of intellectual properties coming up a bit slim with the exception of Dredd. Whatever the case may be, it just didn't quite work for me, and I'm not sure that the film has gained any fans in the passage of time.
At the 1996 Saturn Awards (sponsored by the Academy Of Science Fiction, Fantasy, And Horror Films), Judge Dredd enjoyed a solid four nominations -- 'Best Special Effects,' 'Best Make-Up,' 'Best Costumes,' and 'Best Science Fiction Film' -- but all went home alone that evening ... well, so far as any of us know they went home alone, meaning no statues.