Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #28 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. Today talking about Tank Girl.
I’ve always known about but have never got around to watching it the whole way through. The only reasons I know of its existence is because: 1) Jamie Hewlett co-creator of the Gorillaz was also the co-creator the comic behind this film. And 2) I’ve seen a bit of this film on TV, but never saw the whole thing because I was super tired. 😛 And since this film falls under the superhero genre according to Wikipedia I’m going to count it in this blog series, so there. 😀
The story can be summed up as the following:
“The film follows a series of confrontations between the draconian corporation Water & Power and both Tank Girl and the Rippers, a group of genetically modified super soldiers, who must team up to defeat the corporation’s leader Kesslee.”
The story is certainly interesting but is bit questionable in its execution. I liked the setting and backstory as to how the Earth got into the state that it was in and how the character had to survive in such hardships. There were a lot of intriguing story elements that this film presented that got me engaged initially, but then after a while the story just moves all over the place and it lacked a bit of focus. It also didn’t help that the film’s tone was all over the place, for the most part it was comedic and wacky, but because of that it really affected the emotional points later on because they didn’t feel like they meshed well with the rest of the film. Now I’m all for crazy, strange and unnatural experiences in my films because that describes me down to a tee haha, but even this film got a bit too strange with its odd sensual nature, pop culture references and (SPOILER) one moment when the film breaks into a musical for no proper reason.
Now let’s talk about the cast. Lori Petty does a pretty good job as Tank Girl. This main character is super charismatic, crazy, sassy, confident and sexy. She’s a lot of fun to watch because she’s like a party popper and very unpredictable, she’s strong-willed in the face of danger and seems to have a plan for everything even if it’s not always intentional. My issue with this girl is that she’s not easy to get attached to, she’s no major flaws or quieter moments for us get emotionally invested in her. Naomi Watts is almost unrecognisable as Jet Girl, here we have a character is quite cute, innocent, smart and resourceful and together with Tank Girl they have good chemistry. Watts is quite fun in this role and I liked the charisma of her character. And then there’s Malcolm McDowell as Kesslee, he’s the main antagonist of the film, he’s smart and calculated, aggressive and witty and delights in causing pain and suffering to anyone who crosses him. McDowell is no stranger to being the bad guy and he does fine in this film, but sometimes he goes really over-the-top and ruins things a little. Ice-T as T-Saint was fine, it felt like Ice-T was just playing himself but that was fine as it suited the nature of the character.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is very interesting and different. The visual effects are alright and the style of the locations has a unique charm to it, but it’s the animation sequences that really worked for me. As a man who loves 2D animation and stylish comic book art, I really appreciated the intricacy and fluidity of the animation and how insane it was. What didn’t work as well was the use of the comic book panels in the film, they’d be used as either scene transitions or would cut in between the live-action stuff and it was just a bit jarring and unnecessary and it at times it felt like this was just a way for the filmmakers to cut corners around filming certain things rather than it having relevance. As for the soundtrack,. I wasn’t keen on the music tracks selected for the soundtrack as most of them took me out of the film and just reminded me of some of the music I used to hear on the radio as a child. There were some exceptions to the rule that fit with the tone of the film and they were mainly the rock songs.
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? I haven’t read the comics so I can’t compare the two, but I would love to check them out at some point.
So to conclude Tank Girl is an interesting film. It’s wacky, so energetic and fun, but the story felt a little messy and tonally the film is inconsistent, and the film like it is all spectacle and no heart. I think this film is worth watching just for the performance of Lori Petty and the visual presentation alone, so if you’re curious give it a try.
That’s 28 reviews done, only 2 more to go. So have you seen Tank Girl and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!