Danny Cannon's Judge Dredd is an entertaining enough sci-fi action flick, but I can't help wincing whenever I watch it. Cannon claims to be a fan of the original comic strip, which suggests that he didn't have a great deal of creative control, because plenty of liberties are taken here.
I would never have expected the makers of the movie to be 100% faithful to the comic, but some of the changes that were made were superficial and pointless, and that's what irritates me. For one thing it's set in the wrong year, the Chief Judge is inexplicably called Chief Justice, Rico is locked up in Aspen rather than Titan, the heroic Chief Judge Griffin is one of the movie's villains, while in the comic both McGruder and Silver were Chief Judges... and Silver was black! And another thing... if Rico is Dredd's clone, shouldn't they be identical??
As a movie it's okay. The dialogue is pretty awful (e.g. "I knew you'd say that"), and the acting is adequate (Stallone is fairly dire and Rob Schneider is exceptionally annoying as Fergie, but Diane Lane does well as Judge Hershey, Armand Assante is deliciously nasty as Rico and Max von Sydow adds some much-needed professionalism to proceedings). The action scenes also just-about pass muster, although the hover-bike chase fails to convince, and the climactic punch-up in the Statue of Liberty is a bit of a damp squib.
In the end though, it's all fairly entertaining nonsense. It's just a shame that when the producers decide to bring Dredd to the big screen, they didn't have the courage to do it properly - as far as I'm concerned not hiring John Wagner or Alan Grant to work on the script was a crime worthy of life in an Iso-Cube.