In 1988, Jamie Hewlett (co-creator of the Gorillaz) & Alan Martin published a comic book titled, “Tank Girl.” Set in a post-apocalyptic Australia with a punk rock mood, the series revolves around the titular character in her absurd wacky misadventures driving a tank wreaking havoc. Basically, a cross between “Mad Max” & “Heavy Metal.” Tank Girl ran for eight years garnering a cult following. Thanks to its popularity, MGM bought the film rights to produce a film adaptation of Tank Girl. Lori Petty (Point Break, A League of Their Own, Free Willy) signed on to portray the character.
Tank Girl was released in 1995. (same year Heat came out) It received mixed to negative reviews from critics and movie goers alike. The movie failed to recoup its $25 million budget only making $6 million. Jamie Hewlett despised what MGM forced him to scrap his ideas for the script and do some rewrites. Naomi Watts is pitifully embarrassed. Despite a critical and commercial failure, like the comics, the movie garnered a cult following. In 2007, Tank Girl’s comic book series made a return. In 2019, Margot Robbie and her production company, LuckyChap Entertainment purchased the film rights to produce a reboot of Tank Girl. Netflix announced a Gorillaz film is in development. As a fan of the band, I wanna share my thoughts on MGM’s botched stinker. By the way, the Gorillaz are working on their upcoming eighth album.
I’ve restructured my previous reviews that are flops. Tank Girl is the seventh entry of MGM’s box office bombs.
I don’t care if SPOILERS are listed. Tank Girl belongs in the sewage. Not Jamie’s work, I blame MGM for butchering his vision.
Hydrated & Dehydrated Qualities
Hydrated: Malcolm McDowell, Naomi Watts & Ice-T all did a fair job for their respective performances.
The late Stan Winston (The Terminator series, Iron Man) designed a mutant species, The Rippers.
Costume Designs and Set Pieces retains the comic’s immersive atmosphere.
Iggy Pop makes a cameo appearance.
Dehydrated: Lori Petty’s performance as the titular character is utterly annoying. Every time she opens her mouth, I expect Skyler White (from Breaking Bad) to yell at Tank Girl saying, “SHUT UP!” I have nothing against Lori. I liked her in “Point Break” & “A League of Their Own.” First time Tank Girl provides narration, indicates she’s not a likeable protagonist.
Opening Credits plays Devo’s “Girl You Want.” Oh jeez! This gave me “Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde” flashbacks. That god awful movie played the song during the end credits. Plus, it came out in 1995.
The worst part of the movie is arguably a Musical Number. I’m totally not making this up. Tank Girl forces The Madame to humiliate herself in front of a crowd by singing or else she’ll cut her hair. Then, everybody sings and dances to “Let’s Do It.” UGH! I hate dance scenes out of nowhere. Because they don’t connect to the plot whatsoever. This scene predates awful dance scenes in comic book movies like “Spider-Man 3,” “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” & “Morbius.” I’m gonna Triple Down Tank Girl’s worst scene for making me waste my time!
A henchman act like an idiot when he gets distracted by Tank Girl showing her bra to trick him. Then, she uses a grenade to blow him up.
Another incompetent henchman runs away upon seeing Tank Girl kissing Jet Girl as a tactic to protect the latter. You can’t be be an idiot to flee from two people “kissing” each other.
Computer Animation didn’t age well. Let’s face it, C.G.I. was slowly growing like a fetus before it’s born as a human baby.
I didn’t laugh at every single joke. My eyes were rolling.
Comic Book pages randomly pop outta nowhere. I know this is a movie based on comic book, but that doesn’t make it automatically good. For instance, After Tank Girl is knocked out by a henchman, a thought bubble appears saying, “This is me unconscious.”
An animated Montage Sequence interjected the live action format.
The Final Verdict: F, FOR FAKER!
Tank Girl alongside Sly Stallone’s “Judge Dredd” is a prime example what not to do if you’re gonna make a film adaptation of a comic book series. If you wanna see real female comic book films, I highly recommended “The Powerpuff Girls Movie,” “Wonder Woman” & “Black Widow.” I would like an R-rated Tank Girl movie in animated format similar to “Sausage Party.” If the humor and character is done right, this could be a spiritual successor to Heavy Metal.