- Format: NTSC
- Number of tapes: 1
- Studio: MGM (Warner)
- VHS Release Date: March 24 1998
- Average Customer Review: 84 customer reviews
- ASIN: 6304773382
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #916 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)
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The Year is 2033. Earth has been clobbered with a comet, civilization has been destroyed, and it hasn't rained in 11 years. Nearly all the water on the planet is controlled by the evil Water and Power company, which is in turn controlled by the even more evil Kesslee (Malcolm McDowell). Who stands in the way? Some mysterious mutants called the Rippers and, of course, Tank Girl. Lori Petty plays Tank Girl, the wisecracking, defiant heart of the movie, as kind of an inner child gone wild. Unfortunately Petty can't quite carry a movie on her own--her zingers frequently fall flat and she seems to be continually worried that we still like her. Luckily there's Naomi Watts as Jet Girl to save the day: smart, shy, and inherently way more appealing than Tank Girl. Tank Girl is based on the comic of the same name, and it is visually an eye-popper. It's worth watching for the insane set and costume designs alone. --Ali Davis
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Anyway, I cannot in good faith call this an outright movie. It is heavily butchered - I read before watching it that there were many outtakes - and that becomes very noticeable in the last half of the movie. This movie failed to get beyond the concept stage, and I would have liked to have seen it without all those outtakes, although I enjoyed what was there.
The movie is based off of a comic cartoon, so that has to be taken into consideration when watching it. Some live-action movies based off of cartoons work, some don't. Make what you will of that.
Kesslee is possibly the evillest villain I've ever seen in any movie. He makes Darkness in 'Legend' seem like a sweetheart by comparison. To add that, the bad guy faction, Water & Power, appears as a cruel oppressor to both its enemies and employees alike.
That all said, I am not sure I liked the narratives that the movie portrayed: clean white males in business suits vs. dark-skinned quasi-animals, lecherous men vs. innocent women, a for-profit corporation vs. a primitive tribe, etc. Maybe I'm reading too far into it if I find that to be a rather left-leaning narrative.
All the negatives of the movie stacked together can't negate that there are a couple really touching, meaningful things in the movie. The first one is when Tank Girl asks Jet Girl, "Why do you cover your mouth when you smile?". That is just a wonderful sentiment that I want to carry with me. Second one is how Tank Girl's tank is decked out after she mods it: it's covered with little trinkets and toys that commemorate the happier things of 20th century life and entertainment. The movie takes place in 2033, so I think that's a reminder of the sentimental value of so many things of the 20th century that may last much longer than we think.
It's hard to put a bottom line on this movie without just saying in short everything I wrote above. Someone in another comment called this "the ultimate cult flick" or something to that effect. I will stop a step short of agreeing, mainly on my issues with how chopped this movie is. I would be lying if I said this movie wasn't entertaining, but I would also be lying if I said I was satisfied with it the way it was. It's a neat concept movie that people in decades to come will stumble across from time to time and relive the alternative movie scene of the 1990s.
On a scale of 1 to 5, this product represents a 3 for believability in its universe and in the depth of seriousness its producers have taken. Tank Girl is light, improbable and humourous. While dealing with violence and life and death issues, it prefers not to dwell on the macabre.
Lori Petty does a great job being this highly improbable, tongue-in-cheek heroine. And, I enjoyed Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange)'s over-the-top villain very much (one of his better performances -- and, M, I'll stand on that). The younger fans might also enjoy seeing recent star Naomi Watts as Jet Girl.
Again, what can I say except sometimes light is a relief. Parental warning: not suitable for children.. I know.. it's ironic.
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