Saturday, September 25, 2021

#2,621. Tank Girl (1995)


Based on a UK comic series of the same name, Tank Girl is set in the year 2033, decades after a comet struck earth, throwing the world’s climate into chaos.

Because it hasn’t rained in 8 years, water has become a scarce, very valuable commodity, and the Water & Power (or W&P) Corporation, controlled by the sinister Kesslee (Malcolm McDowell), has a monopoly on it. In fact, W & P has just destroyed the last independent water well, which belonged to Rebecca (Lori Petty) and her friends.

With most of her accomplices dead, Rebecca is captured by troops loyal to W & P and forced to work in the company’s facility. Teaming up with a meek mechanic named Jet Girl (Naomi Watts), Rebecca eventually escapes, steals a tank, and sets off into the desert to save her adolescent friend Sam (Stacy Linn Ramsower), who W & P has working in a brothel.

To defeat the mighty corporation, Rebecca, now calling herself Tank Girl, tries to track down an army of mutants known only as The Rippers. Even W & P is afraid of the Rippers, and with their help, Tank Girl is positive she can rescue Sam and bring the mighty Kesslee to his knees.

There's a lot to admire about director Rachal Talalay’s Tank Girl, but it’s story isn’t one of them; it’s all a bit hackneyed, jumping from one setting to another so rapidly that it’s hard to get your bearings. In addition, W & P - Kesslee included - never feels like much of a threat.

Fortunately, the movie’s positives far outweigh its negatives. From the well-realized post-apocalyptic set pieces to its exceptional soundtrack (assembled by Courtney Love and featuring music from – among others - Ice-T, who also plays one of the Rippers), Tank Girl has style to spare, and Lori Petty oozes charisma as the title character, bringing an incredible amount of energy to the role.

Add to that the contributions by Stan Winston’s make-up effects team (which created the look of the kangaroo-like Rippers) and some kick-ass animated sequences, and you have a motion picture that, while certainly not perfect, is a hell of a lot of fun.
Rating: 7 out of 10

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