Tank Girl (1995)

tank_girl_picYeah, this is why studios didn’t take comic book movie seriously for a very long time. “Tank Girl” is god awful. I’m aware her comic is very popular, and Tank Girl the character is considered something of a feminist icon of a sorts, but “Tank Girl” is swill. It’s bottom feeding swill. It tries to exude this sense of hipness and edge, but instead feels like it doesn’t take the material seriously. Lori Petty (who has the charm of a spastic Ritalin addict) attempts to play the sexually ambiguous Tank Girl as tongue in cheek but she just comes off as a clown who has no grasp on the material.

It also doesn’t help “Tank Girl” feels like a bare bones low budget junk fest from beginning to end.  Everything about the film feels flimsy, with props and set pieces feeling borrowed and painfully altered for the sake of the film, while the world Tank Girl inhabits is uninteresting and incredibly derivative. When a comet hits the Earth, the world is turned in to a sandy tundra with a many year drought. Now that a corporation controls the world’s power and water supply, Tank Girl and her freedom fighters plan to use their resources to spread to their community. The water battle in a post apocalyptic world is painfully unoriginal, and “Tank Girl” never quite utilizes the premise to provide an entertaining or remotely exciting film. Tank Girl professes to be this dangerous and off the wall individual, but never quite puts it in display for the audience to feed in to.

She’s often moronic, grating, and unfunny, which defeats the purpose of Tank Girl being an immense feminine icon, and when she should be valiant and courageous, she feels more idiotic and thrust in to a situation she mocks more often than not. When the movie does have a chance to show off some great action sequences, it reverts to poorly animated buffers, as well as comic panels from the series that are supposed to compensate for no actual excitement ensuing for the audience. Director Rachel Talalay tries to pass off the stills from the comic in place of action scenes as a sense of being meta, or hip, and winking to the audience, when it becomes blatantly obvious that Talalay is cutting corners left and right, and never actually delivers on the promise of war fare in this world.

The script also dodges Tank Girl’s sexual ambiguity as she spends most of the time flirting with her ally Jet Girl (a very young bespectacled Naomi Watts) and fighting the war, but never delivers on a love triangle between Tank Girl and her love interest Booga, a mutant kangaroo. “Tank Girl” is yet another Westernization of a classic UK comic that misses the whole point of the concept and transforms the hero in to a vague representation of the source material she derives from. “Tank Girl” is a lousy action picture, and one that is almost unwatchable. Tank Girl definitely has a lot more potential to be an entertaining alternative science fiction film and it’s never realized with this 1995 monstrosity. Unfunny, often painfully boring, and so blatantly low budget and poorly constructed,”Tank Girl” is a success in that it misses the point of its source material, completely.