Tank Girl (1995)

tank girl poster 1995 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Interesting visuals and concept

Not a good story fit for the character

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Tank Girl

Studio:   Trilogy Entertainment Group

Genre(s):   Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Comedy

Release Date(s):   March 31, 1995

MPAA Rating:   R

tank girl naomi watts lori petty

Jet Girl, you’re my wing girl…literally

It is 2033, the Earth is a desolate wasteland and water is scarce.  Rebecca Buck (Lori Petty) is part of a group stealing water from Water & Power lead by Kesslee (Malcolm McDowell).  When the group is slaughter and Rebecca is captured, she ends up a prisoner of Kesslee.  Escaping with a girl named Jet Girl (Naomi Watts), Rebecca meets her love…a modified tank.  Now, Tank Girl and Jet Girl are out to stop Kesslee and liberate the water for all!

Directed by Rachel Talalay, Tank Girl is a sci-fi comic book film.  The film was based on the Tank Girl comic originally appeared in Deadline #1 (October 1988) and was released to poor reviews.  The film’s soundtrack put together by Courtney Love was better received and gained attention itself for its female performers.  The film has gained a cult following over the year.

In 1995, there were very few comic book movies.  When Tank Girl was released, the concept and ideas of Tank Girl seemed interesting, but the film was rather meh.  As years have gone on, Tank Girl still seems like an interesting concept, but the movie still has faults.

tank girl booga rippers lori petty ice t

Let’s blow this movie, guys…

The biggest problem with Tank Girl is probably Tank Girl itself.  The comic was an edgy, feminist text that was almost to counter to comics.  If Tank Girl had to make a decision, she made the bad decision.  When the world needs a hero, she might run…unless she’s angry then she might attack.  It isn’t a traditional hero.  To put her in a rather standard sci-fi plot doesn’t really work.

The next probably is probably the cast.  Lori Petty is a pretty polarizing actress.  Her over-the-top style does fit the character but it also can get old fast.  This is teamed with Malcolm McDowell who seems to have always made really questionable choices since his breakout role in A Clockwork Orange.  The movie features Ice-T in heavy make-up as the kangaroo-esque Ripper called T-Saint (Tank Girl’s Ripper “boyfriend” Booga is played by Jeff Kober) and the movie also features one of earliest performances of Naomi Watts as Tank Girl’s sidekick Jet Girl.

tank girl animated sequences lori petty

Lori Petty get animated (like she already wasn’t)

One thing that the movie does do is that it provides interesting visuals.  The movie often combines the live footage with animation and tries to remind people that it is a comic book film.  The movie bolsters this with a solid soundtrack helmed by a mostly female performers which fits in to the themes of the movie.

Tank Girl hurts a bit because it is on the verge of truly being an interesting counter-culture movie.  It is interesting to look back at in the context of today’s comic book explosion, and it is still a different voice.  I think Tank Girl will continue to interest and attract people…I just don’t know if it really should.

Related Links:

Tank Girl:  Bad Wind Rising

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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