A fun version of the indie fave, it's a pop culture, post apocalyptic sendup with some popcorn fun built in. An Ice T as a crazed fighting mutant kangaroo. Fo real.
Alive with punk energy and humor, this is a good film that deserves far better appreciation.
This movie had the impossible task of bringing my number 1 crush to life.
By Tym Stevens
"Oh bondage, up yours!"
The gritty thrashback of Punk and the graphic futurism of New Wave sharpened the best '80s cutting edge culture, from Mad Max and Blade Runner, to Heavy Metal and Raw magazines, to "Strange Days" and "V for Vendetta" comics. Out of this heady hurricane, Deadline magazine unleashed writer Alan Martin and artist Jamie Hewlett's punk misfit "Tank GIrl" onto the unsuspecting in 1988. A low-brow middle finger raised high against everything conformist and oppressive, "she opened strange doors that we've never closed again."
Women had been a deciding driving force in Punk music since its beginning, and Tank Girl became the visible poster child of that escalating revolution; her freeform exploits tumbled through anarchic sarcasm, self-mockery, fanzine collage, chaotic mayhem, relentless self-reinvention, barbed satire, and abrasive energy, all a perfect antecedent for the coming rise of Riot Grrrl.
The Tank Girl movie is fine fun that everyone missed the boat on. Director Rachel Talalay does one of the best translations for a graphix-based film of the decade, capturing all the spirit and style of our antihero, while bringing more motivation to her. The first half is an A-level film, focused and surprisingly edgy and poignant at times. When the second half becomes a B-movie blizzard of bedlam, it still works somehow...because that's the comic, too. (This film is considered a failure because of box office and audience shock. But contrasting the overall formal successes of this film against the real failures that followed—Batman and Robin, Steel, Spawn——puts its quality into more proper appreciation.) Lori Petty's clearly natural vitality supercharges the pansexual smartass we love, and Naomi Watts quietly begins her ascent here as Jet Girl.
The opening credits are a lovefest of Hewlett's panel art, and the film is spliced often with new art and animation contributed by now-famous comics heretics like Hewlett (Gorillaz), Philip Bond, and Peter Milligan. The soundtrack overseen by Courtney Love became a cult item of its own, with savvy selections from Richard Hell, Devo, Joan Jett, Hole, L7, Bjork, and Portishead.