Stallone certainly has the square jaw-line and iconic presence to play Judge Dredd, a helmeted, emotionless future-cop who dispenses summary justice on the riot-torn streets of Mega City One. When Dredd is falsely convicted of murder and, like his honest mentor Judge Fargo (von Sydow), driven out into the lifeless deserts of the Cursed Earth, the resulting vacuum is filled by corrupt Judge Griffin (Prochnow), who springs Dredd's cloned criminal brother Rico (Assante) from prison and foments social chaos. Dredd, however, is not so easily vanquished and returns to settle old family scores. Indicative of worries that Dredd's heartless, neo-fascistic persona would result in too dark a tone, the uneven script throws in femme cop Hershey (Lane) and irritating side-kick Fergie (Schneider) to add human feeling and comic relief. Despite some fuzzy flying sequences, the precocious technical mastery displayed by 27-year-old Brit director Cannon is extraordinary; but as with his flawed debut, The Young Americans, a question mark still hangs over his handling of actors and narrative fluidity. As a result, this slam-bang Stallone vehicle never quite delivers what its confident, fizzing visuals seem to promise.