×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tank Girl

What's missing from the mix is an engaging story to bind together its intriguing bits. And Lori Petty as "Tank Girl," aka Rachel Buck, has the spunk but, sadly, not the heart of the post-apocalyptic heroine.

What’s missing from the mix is an engaging story to bind together its intriguing bits. And Lori Petty as “Tank Girl,” aka Rachel Buck, has the spunk but, sadly, not the heart of the post-apocalyptic heroine.

An MGM/UA release of a United Artists presentation of a Trilogy Entertainment Group production. Produced by Richard B. Lewis, Pen Densham, John Watson. Executive producers, Aron Warner, Tom Astor. Co-producer, Christian L. Rehr. #Directed by Rachel Talalay. Screenplay by Tedi Sarafian, based upon the comic strip created by Alan Martin, Jamie Hewlett. Camera (Deluxe color), Gale Tattersall; editor, James R. Symons; music, Graeme Revell; production design, Catherine Hardwicke; art direction, Phillip Toolin, Charles D. Lee, Richard Yanez-Toyon, Jim Dultz; set decoration, Cindy Carr; costume design, Arianne Phillips; Rippers designed by Stan Winston; choreographer, Adam Shankman; visual effects supervisor, Peter Crosman; animation designer, Mike Smith; sound (DTS), Ed Novick; military technical adviser, Lt. Col. Duncan Wilmore; assistant director, Mike Topoozian; second unit director, Peter Ramsey; second unit camera , Mike Benson; casting, Pam Dixon Mickelson. Reviewed at the Bruin Theater, L.A. , March 28, 1995. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 104 min. Rachel Buck … Lori Petty Kesslee … Malcolm McDowell T-Saint … Ice-T Jet Girl … Naomi Watts Sergeant Small … Don Harvey Booga … Jeff Kober Dee Tee … Reg E. Cathey Donner … Scott Coffey Sam … Stacy Linn Ramsower Coming to save the world in 2033 is that wild, wacky and energetic “Tank Girl.” But the movie version of the graphic comic book is a classic case of kitchen-sink filmmaking, in which the principals have thrown everything into the stew, hoping enough will stick to the audience.

The futuristic setting depicts a world where water is the ultimate currency. The planet is a massive desert ruled by the tyrannical military-industrial Water & Power Co. and its chief exec Kesslee (Malcolm McDowell). Renegades, including the title character’s band, poach the precious fluid, much to Kesslee’s chagrin.

As the plot turns, Rachel is taken captive and put to work in the W&P mines. But Kesslee views her as having a greater purpose. He wants her to flush out the “Rippers,” a ferocious strain — part man, part kangaroo — created in some warped biolab experiment.

Escaping with the aid of fellow drone Jet Girl (Naomi Watts), Rachel hijacks a tank and sets off in search of the Rippers, unaware she’s been implanted with a homing device.

Of course, the pair get into a lot of trouble along the way. And, also predictably, they wind up, with the aid of the hybrids, saving the desert planet.

Director Rachel Talalay has culled the loudest and most obvious elements associated with hercomic book hero. It’s a biff-bam approach most likely to induce headaches. The pity of it is the film’s failure to reflect the comic’s commentary on the battle of the sexes or the bizarre extremes of corporate mentality. Talalay and scripter Tedi Sarafian prefer the outrageous and gaudy as exemplified by such narrative non sequiturs as a musical interlude at a bar of tomorrow played out to Cole Porter’s anachronistic “Let’s Do It.”

Petty’s take on her character favors brash, physical elements. Lost is the humor and ingenious nature that might have spawned a series. It’s the essential difference between producing “Batman” or “Modesty Blaise.”

“Tank Girl’s” screen assault has a “no prisoners” attitude. There’s some comfort in knowing the troops — both its technicians and artistes — are well-trained pros. But without a forceful field marshal, even the best are undone by chaos.

Popular on Variety

Tank Girl

(Futuristic adventure -- Color)

Production: There are dazzling pyrotechnics, state-of-the-art makeup, a lavish song-and-dance production, nifty animation reflecting its comic book origins and a thumping rock soundtrack.

More Film

  • Nina Wu Midi Z Un Certain

    Chinese Indie and Indian Films Dominate Pingyao Festival Lineup

    Chinese indie and Indian films dominate the lineup of the Pingyao International Film Festival. The main selection for the festival’s third edition will include 28 world premieres, organizers revealed on Monday. The event will screen 52 films from 26 countries and territories, with all of them having their China debut. The opening film is set [...]

  • 'Sound of Metal' Review: Riz Ahmed

    Toronto Film Review: 'Sound of Metal'

    “Sound of Metal” is a film with a potent, searing hook. It stars Riz Ahmed, who is such a sensational actor (just watch him in “Jason Bourne” or “Nightcrawler” or “The Sisters Brothers”), as Ruben, a punk-metal drummer, heavy on the tattoos and peroxide, who has been thrashing away as part of a caterwauling noise [...]

  • David Goodman

    WGA West's David Goodman on Agency Strategy: 'We'll Start Meeting as Soon as Possible'

    David Goodman, who was resoundingly re-elected president of the Writers Guild of America West on Monday, said the guild plans to meet with several talent agencies soon in an effort to ease the impasse over packaging fees and affiliated production. “Many agencies had indicated that they wanted to wait to see the results of the [...]

  • Australian Outback

    Legend Media Seeks Trio of West Australia-China Co-Productions (EXCLUSIVE)

    Perth, Australia-based production company Legend Media is preparing a slate of three feature films to be produced with partners in China. The company styles itself as one that recognizes the opportunities for Asian engagement that have fallen to Australia, through geography, trade and culture. The company aims to make use of the bilateral film co-production [...]

  • David Goodman

    David Goodman Re-Elected President of Writers Guild of America West

    David Goodman has been convincingly re-elected to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America West, beating Phyllis Nagy in a bitter contest that became a referendum on the guild’s ongoing battle with talent agents. Goodman received 4,395 votes to Nagy’s 1,282 in an election that yielded record turnout among the WGA [...]

  • Issa Rae Portrait

    Issa Rae Developing Re-Imagining of Crime Thriller 'Set It Off'

    “Insecure” star and co-creator Issa Rae is in early development on a re-imagining of New Line’s crime thriller “Set If Off,” which starred Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica Fox and Kimberly Elise. Rae will produce with plans to star in the project. Syreeta Singleton and Nina Gloster have been hired to pen the script. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content