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September 22, 2009

FIlm Fatale: Tank Girl

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Written by: The Movie Lady
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tg3I want to start off by saying that I’m probably totally biased in my review of this movie seeing as how Tank Girl was the first comic I ever read. However, these articles are all about my opinion, so I’m going to give it to you. This movie kicks ass. It’s definitely a separate entity from the comic, so hard core fans might be disappointed. I’m a hard core fan though, and I love it and appreciate it for what it is.

Tank Girl is directed by Rachel Talalay is loosely based on the original comic created by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett. In fact both Alan and Jamie were both fairly dissatisfied with the end product. Now that I think about it, I realize that in the movie Tank Girl isn’t as nasty, raunchy, disgusting, and foul mouthed as she is in the comics, though I do think Lori Petty was a great fit for this character and loved her interpretation of it. The creators said they were disillusioned about how the filming was going and at the very end had to compensate for missing scenes by adding in effects such as animation and montages of stills from the comic. I personally love getting to see flashes of scenes from the comic while comparing them to their live action recreations, as well as the animation that was developed for the movie. Plus, it has a killer soundtrack with music from Bjork, Devo, Bush, Portishead, Veruca Salt, Hole, Iggy Pop, Ice-T and more… plus Ice-T plays a killer kangaroo/man, what’s not to love?

tg1At the start of the film, Tank Girl basically lays down the plot in the first couple of minutes; The year is 2033 and because a comet crashed on Earth there has been no rain for the past 11 years. The role of the company Water and Power, which is headed by Kesslee (played by Malcolm McDowell), is also summed up by Tank Girl when she states “they control most of the water, and got all the power.” Although they are opposed by the Rippers, the kangaroo-ish killers who thwart Water and Power’s endeavors every chance they can. The main focus of the movie is the battle of wills between Tank Girl and Kesslee. He wants to control everything and when faced with someone he can’t control he makes a game of trying to break Tank Girl who resists all his attempts, even when faced with the potential death of a loved one. Jet Girl, played by a then little known Naomi Watts (she even has black hair in the movie and still has her accent!) joins Tank Girl on her journey. Later on, the Rippers play a major role as well turning out to be quite different than Tank Girl or Jet Girl could have expected. They provide some mild violence as well as a few good laughs.

I was disappointed at how small Sub Girl’s role was, but besides that there’s little I can complain about. There are, however, a few goofs in the movie; such as how the laser sight on Tank Girl’s gun is shining on her boyfriend’s hand in one shot and then the next shot shows her pulling the gun on him, or how after getting knocked in the head Sub Girl totally “hands off” her gun to Tank Girl as she falls. The movie has a low budget indie feel to it which could be either good or bad depending on your taste. Overall I love this film and if you’re not sold yet, watch it just to see a back in the day Naomi Watts all grungy, black haired, and accented out but still hot! Ok, still not sold?! There’s a whole long scene that takes place in the strip club Liquid Silver, which includes a song and dance number packed with nearly naked women dancing around… plus Naomi Watts in her underwear… if that doesn’t sell you I’m not sure what will.


The Movie Lady



  1. Jason

    I second the Naomi Watts part…and come on people, if you can’t like this movie then you need to have your head checked. It was entertaining as heck!

  2. InfiniteSpeech

    I remember watching this movie knowing very little about the book and thought it was a decent flick. The club scene and Ice T in the Kangaroo costume really stuck in my head lol

  3. I also thought the cut scenes into the comic were cool!

  4. Thinking of Lori as Tank Girl still gets me giddy to this day. I love Tank Girl…in both forms <3.

  5. Billy

    Lori Petty is cute. I never saw the movie because I couldn’t get past the title.

  6. InfiniteSpeech

    actually just watched this again today on cable…still love the Liquid Silver scene nothing like choreographed song and dance to get you ready to fight the bad guys! lol

  7. […] character and there won’t be.” Judging by the other films that were released in the same era (Tank Girl, The Mask, Judge Dread), this dedication to creative control is probably what eventually sank the […]

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