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Sunday, October 9, 2011

My 100 Worst Movies of the 90's - 69 - Tank Girl (1995)

It is rather sad that I felt I had to include this one on my list.  I say this because I believe Tank Girl could have been a smart and funny film.  Based on a series of comic books, Tank Girl follows a loud-mouthed, tank-driving female who traverses a post-apocalyptic landscape while dodging mutant kangaroo people and a villainous corporation that is manipulating the supply of water to the thirsty masses.  Unfortunately in its execution, this is a noisy, poorly-written, poorly-acted movie that goes in circles for the first two acts, then tries to stage a major action climax that feels small and is so badly filmed that you can't even really see what's happening on screen.

Lori Petty is likable as a supporting character, say, the best friend, but having to deal with her loud, squeaky voice for the full length of a film is enough to make anyone want to pour hot wax into their ears.  Also, Ice-T looks ridiculous in a supporting role amidst a slew of sloppy makeup and his character is basically the same character he plays in everything.  Still, it's unfair to put all the blame on the stars here.  This is a vapid, pointless script, filled with unintelligent characters, bad effects and even worse make up.

Tank Girl has a strange, hyperactive style to it.  It definitely screams 90’s with its loud characters, neon colors, chaotic camera work and music video style.  Now, I that said, I like the premise of the movie.  I also like the look of the film (minus the aforementioned neon).  The sets are basically better-looking versions of the sets from the Mario Bros. movie, filled with gritty, dirty fixtures and a rusty motif.  Throw on some contrasting colors in the foreground and you get a nice visual pop that makes things really stand out (most of the time).

Compliments aside, I can’t give this one a pass because Tank Girl is just one of those shallow action films that is designed to show you stuff and make noise for roughly and hour and a half and then just end.  It leaves you with nothing to ponder, does nothing to inspire, and doesn't even try to have a coherent series of events to carry the plot.  The movie is just all over the place.  It's trying to be too many things and the fact that the filmmakers actually thought this movie may warrant a sequel is just mind-blowing.

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