Comic Book Movie Review: Tank Girl (1995)

We all knew a girl who was REALLY into Tank Girl, didn’t we?  For a lot of people my age who would have been teenagers when the flick came out, Lori Petty as Tank Girl completely exemplified the kind of outside the norm, Gen X, alternative thought process that appealed to the kids who were more concerned with which new bands were rad instead of which new brands to wear.

It’s kind of interesting because the character of Tank Girl is basically the female version of the slick friend who appears in tons of 80s movies. You know, the guy who tries really hard to get his geeky friend to ask a girl out (think Styles from Teen Wolf). But instead of trying to help a pal out, she’s trying to break out of prison and destroy a mega corporation in a post-apocalyptic future where it hasn’t rained in over a decade.

So, how did this quirky 90s subcultural flick based on a comic book I’ve never read hold up? Pretty great, actually. Like Batman and Robin this is a big, goofy  movie with all kinds of craziness (kangaroo mutants played by Ice-T, tanks all over the place, a villainous Water & Power organization). It’s bright and it’s loud and it’s odd and that’s what makes it great. I can’t see a major studio getting behind a movie like this and am surprised MGM did the same in 1995, to be honest. Heck, there’s a Cole Porter song and dance number in the middle of a brothel in the movie!

I think the cast is great and everyone really jumps into these roles that could have been done with too much tongue in too much cheek, but instead Petty, Naomi Watts, Ice-T, Maclom McDowell and the rest really have fun with it and give it their kinetic all.

Personally, I don’t have a connection to this movie. I think I rented it once from Family Video back in my ongoing rental spree, but didn’t remember much about it. I’ve liked Petty ever since I saw A League Of Their Own and think it’s a ton of fun and a great movie to check out. Also, as I tweeted while watching, Kat Dennings’ character on 2 Broke Girls sounds like she lifted her entire speech pattern after Petty’s. Give it a listen and then compare. Funny stuff.

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