Saturday, 7 July 2012

Judge Dredd, The Movie 2012

Back in 1977 2000 AD started its longest running character Judge Joseph Dredd, and american law enforcement officer in a violent of the future. They were basically uniformed judges combine the powers of police, judge, jury and executioner. Dredd or any judges are empowered to arrest, sentence and even execute criminals on the spot. The character was created by writer John Wagner and Carlos Ezuerra. Judge Dredd followed the typical protagonist personality of Dirty Harry or Judge Roy Bean, patrolling the a future New york city called Mega city one. Judges were armed with a Law giver programmed to recognized only his palm print (though recognizing a hand through a glove makes me wonder about this kind of technology).
The lawgiver was capable of firing 6 different bullets including.

  • Standard execution - A standard bullet, with identical effects to normal kinetic energy projectile weapons.
  • Heat Seeker or Hot Shot - A standard bullet propelled by the unstable element, 'Argon 886'. Heat-seeker rounds lock onto the target's heat source, enabling the Judge to target fleeing-perps, accurately fire in low-light situations and so forth.
  • Ricochet - A metal bullet coated with rubber. Ricochet rounds can bounce off solid surfaces while retaining enough kinetic energy to penetrate flesh. This enables the Judge to, for example, kill a perp that is using a human shield, bouncing their shot off a back wall and hitting the target from behind.
  • Incendiary - Capable of setting its target on fire. Less widely used due to practicalities of incinerating targets in built-up city areas, although useful against unconventional adversaries such as Judge Death.
  • Armour Piercing - Armour piercing rounds are extremely dense and contain a more powerful charge for higher muzzle velocity. Useful against cybernetic criminals and armored opponents. When used against human targets, it can travel through multiple targets.
  • High-Explosive (Hi-Ex) - A round containing an amount of extremely concentrated high explosive. Judges must employ caution when using this extremely dangerous round; the blast caused by the exploding bullets can just as easily harm those firing as well as the target. Generally used rarely; against crowding attackers or large/dangerous foes.

A judge would also ride a Lawmaster motor cycle, armed with machine guns and a powerful laser cannon. A law master would also have artificial intelligence and is cable to provide armed back up and can maneuver on its own.
Mega city one legal system had numerous bodies and divisions with specialized tasked

  • Academy of law
  • Psi Divisions (judges with psychic powers)
  • Special judicial squad (internal affairs)
  • Technical Division (scientists)
  • Wally squad (undercover division)
  • Public surveillance Unit (PSU)
  • Space Corps
  • Defense Divisions (mega city one wall defense security against outside wastelanders)
  • Holocaust squad

during its long run Judge dredd encounters many a violent encounters with wasteland mutants, the threat of a apocalyptic war, zombies, and even an parallel dimensional evil Judge Death with paranormal powers. The stories include other divisions like Tech divisions, wally squad and my favorite Psi Division. Despite the far future scenario of a dystopian city like Mega city one, it has a real world charm of everyday crime in a typical  over run city.
I used to love the big stories whereby the whole of the city is under threat, like "The day the Law died", when the Chief judge  Cal used is superior judicial powers to convict judge Dredd. And corrupt the law system for his own gains. Some elements of the plot line was borrowed for the Film in 1995 Judge Dread film

Only recently I have heard Judge Dredd has come back to rekindle this popular comic character, its hard to say if it is going to be a success as the trailer seems to be borrowing a lot from the Film The Raid,  where by a SWAT team is trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster. While The Dredd film looks to find and capture, the leader of a Drugs Baron who happens to be in a large futuristic high rise building.
My personnel thoughts think this might be a bad mistake to copy another film. but if well executed and crafted it might go on to be ok. I would thought it might incorporate the other divisions in the justice department, to infiltrate the building.
The wally squad or PSU, its hard to predict as the first film with Sylvester Stallone would make casual references to certain characters in the comics. This new reboot might make the intelligent decision to include the various police divisions of the Justice Department. I would also argue that Karl Uberman might not have the strong Jaw line to carry role of Dredd. Stallone made the ultimate mistake of showing his face in the film for the Dredd Character, when the whole Idea of Dredd is to be faceless tough but fair arm of the Law.

There are so many plot lines in the comics dating over 30 years, this would provide many ideas for a sequel. The question is will Hollywood allow true fanboy writers make this accurate to the comics?. One name I  did see was Carlos Sanchez Ezquerra who was the original creators of the Dredd character. And writer Alex Garland who wrote Sunshine and 28 weeks later. Both people seem to have the qualifications to give the look and feel of a good action movie. But I think I will reserve my judgement on this film until it comes out. Ultimately I would want it to be a success and will spawn other characters, especially the sexy sassy Judge Cassandra Anderson of the PSI Division.

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