Saturday, 15 February 2014

Maurice Jackhammer Investigates Judge Dredd

While on the run from his nemesis, back in 1997, Maurice Jackhammer once had to lay low in a Leith housing scheme. Inside, he discovered that this squalid dwelling was a part time squat and all he found was a VHS player, a Grundig colour TV, a signed Sooty Annual (1993) and a copy of the action classic, Judge Dredd, starring Sylvester Stallone.

Above: The ancient technology of VHS
What follows in Jackhammer's journal can only be described as strange. For the next five pages all that can be made out from the scrawled handwriting is the phrase 'no more, Rob Schneider, no more' over and over again. We assume that Maurice had not yet reviewed Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo at this stage, indeed this could have been his first contact with Mr Schneider, which would explain what appears to be Jackhammer's nervous breakdown. However, here and there amongst the scribbles there are a couple of legible sentences. We have done our best to patch these together into some kind of coherent analysis of the film's merits and shortcomings, which follows thus.
Judge Dredd sports the latest in Megacity body armour. 

For those that don't know, Sylvester Stallone is a one-time soft porn actor with a face that may or may not be melting. You may recognise him from such poignant and artistic masterpieces as Rambo III, the Lords of Flatbrush (according to Wikipedia this is a film) and Spy Kids 3D: The Game is Over. He is joined in this big screen adventure by none other than the previously mentioned Rob Schneider, a man who somehow is paid to be in films, but no-one quite knows why (, and even more bizarrely, is more searched for than Robb Stark on Google. Now, you'd think this film, with its cast of a man who can't move his face and a comic who to my knowledge, has never made anyone laugh, would be a recipe for disaster.

Much like The Human Centipede,  once
 you've seen it, you can
never forget it.
You would be wrong. Although Judge Dredd has garnered a measly 5.3 on IMDB, this is a highly subjective view, and shows that those pricks over at Metacritic need a serious lesson in recognising bad-assery and comic genius. I would like to make one thing clear before I continue: this film should not be good, however, through some bizarre law of chaos enough things went wrong in production to transform this unwieldy steaming pile of 90s sci-fi/adventure/comedy into an hour and half of excellence. The one liners alone make this film worth watching. Seeing Stallone staggering around, barely able to move in his ultra-shiny Megacity gimp suit and squeezing out the words 'I am the law' as if he is in the throes of a severe bout of indigestion is a sight worth seeing, I assure you. The film starts in reasonably high spirits, there's some kind of riot or something going on (you learn pretty early on the plot is definitely a side event in this movie), Rob Schneider is getting a new house, but some gangbangers are living there, so Dredd shows up and drenches the whole place in his bad-assery and dazzles all the baddies with his ultra-reflective helmet, which he soon takes off and is barely seen again all film (for the purists out there, we'll just pretend that never happened). But then, disaster strikes!

Dredd is arrested. It's all good though, because Max von Sydow shows up to help him out but then due to reasons too boring and convoluted to go into Dredd ends up being punished anyway and is dumped in the wastelands. This sets the scene for perhaps the best moment in the entire movie, where Rob Schneider is almost eaten alive by Heshell from the Walking Dead, eagerly helped by his mutant son, who happens to be Spud from Trainspotting. Unfortunately Rob Schneider lives long enough for Dredd to save him, and for the next half hour he persistently refuses to die, despite being shot at, almost burnt alive and somehow surviving a 40 story drop on a motor bike. This is all beside the point though. Plot aside, Dredd goes and kills some baddies, who are trying to frame him using a dead terrorist test tube baby half-brother Dredd once shot and then the movie ends, with Rob Schneider still alive and Dredd reinstated as the most bad-ass of all bad-asses in the year 2150.
Pictured above: The Maurice Jackhammer anti-Schneiderscope,
drone out the inane
babbling of the famous SNL comic by simply playing
 over him every time he appears on screen! It's as easy as pie! 

All in all, you can't watch this film seriously. If you watch it seriously you will probably begin to experience nausea and migraines and your mental health may be in jeopardy. However, if you go into this movie without an open mind, know nothing about the Dredd mythology, and make sure to use a patented anti-Rob Schneider device (such as the one pictured right), then you have no right to ... judge this film.

IMDB: 5.3
Maurice Jackhammer Investigates: 7.5/10

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