STARRING: Lori Petty, Naomi Watts, Don Harvey, Jeff Kober, Reg E. Cathey, Scott Coffey, Malcolm McDowell, Stacy Lynn Ramsower, Ann Cusack, Brian Wimmer, Iggy Pop, James Hong, Ice-T

1995, 102 Minutes, Directed by: Rachel Talalay

Description: The year's 2033 and since a humongous meteor hit earth, the world just hasn't been the same. No Movies, No Cable TV, NO WATER!!! A mega-villain, Kesslee (Malcolm McDowell), the leader of Water & Power, holds the world in his grasp since he controls all the H2O down to the last drop...or so he thinks. Two colossal enemies stand in his way: (1) The Rippers - an army of half-men/half-kangaroo people whose sole purpose is to bring down the W & P, and (2) a chick with a tank and tons of attitude - a.k.a. Tank Girl (Lori Petty). Kesslee had better get a grip on reality and his water jugs because not even a run in her stocking is going to stop her from saving the planet.

This is one of those peculiar movies which you either love or hate . . . or find yourself agreeing with both the people who love and hate it.

Based on the cult British comic book series, it is a more interesting adaptation than that other British comic book that saw life in the same year as this one: Judge Dredd. That doesn't make it good, however. The film tries very hard to recreate the comic book's wild and wacky flair and in the end it is a total assault on the senses with deafening rock music interspersed clips of psychedelic animation. Even an over-the-top Busby Berkeley dance routine is thrown in! But, alas, all to no avail: the main problem is that the main character of Tank Girl has been toned down considerably (she is a lot less vicious) to make her more likeable for a more politically correct 1990s audience.

Then there's newcomer director Rachel Talalay - perhaps Oliver Stone's madcap visual flair of Natural Born Killers would have worked better - but her film is uneven and she doesn't manage to sustain the good bits in the movie. Or perhaps the approach was wrong: maybe they should have made it an animated film altogether (the animated bits are good) or have left the whole affair to the comics page from whence it came!

(There isn't much of a plot, some really odd moments and Malcolm McDowell as the chief baddy looks like he is just reprising his role from Star Trek Generations.)


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