The worst use of cardboard since Star Trek.


Cliffnotes review:
The worst use of cardboard since Star Trek.

This film goes to: 4
Rated (R)
Directed by: Rachel Talalay
Starring: Lori Petty, Malcolm McDowell, Ice-T, Naomi Watts
Written by: Tedi Sarafian
104 minutes
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Official Site

Rarely is a film based on a comic book successful and, unfortunately, "Tank Girl" is no exception to this rule. Where films like "Ghost World" and the original "Batman" succeed with both ample character development and design, "Tank Girl" seems strapped to the page and it comes across as a 2-dimentional representation of what could have been a robust experience.

"Tank Girl" stars Lori Petty as the manic, ungrounded title character developed in Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett's comic series of the same name. Though she does her damnedest to provide substance to the role, Petty is hindered by a mediocre script and horrific set design that often is so unrealistic and tied to stage settings that it surely was designed by someone from the soaps… or porn. I believe they were shooting for "surreal" and managed to touch down in the neighborhood of the original "Star Trek" series.

You have to give a little credit for effort, however, as everyone involved seems to be trying to make the production fun. I am certain that this was an entertaining film on which to work with an eclectic cast which included: Malcolm McDowell (portraying yet another in a long line of wacky characters), Ice-T (as the head of the group of renegade, genetically altered kangaroos that haunt the first half of the film and, once allowed on screen, provide an odd mix of kung-fu fightin' and comic relief), and the "Mulholland Drive" standout, Naomi Watts as Tank Girl's sidekick, Jet Girl. Toss in Iggy Pop as a demented pederast and you have the recipe for success… not. Apparently having fun does not a good film make. Go figure.

I am not sure on whom to lay blame for this train wreck, but much of the credit certainly must fall on the shoulders of writer, Tedi Sarafian, who is obviously unfamiliar with plot or character development but apparently believes that all ills can be cured with a liberal dose of trite one-liners. This doesn't bode well for the upcoming Terminator 3 (on which Sarafian is credited) to say the least. There are a couple of nice "red haired" moments during the course of the film; however, these don't provide nearly enough to warrant the time it takes to bridge the ample gaps in between. All in all, avoidance is an excellent remedy for "Tank Girl".

DVD Details:
"Tank Girl" is delivered on DVD in a widescreen format (anamorphic 2.35:1 aspect ratio) and provides English, French and Spanish soundtracks in Dolby Digital 5.1, 5.1 and 2.0 respectively. Spanish and French subtitles are also available.

The thought of having to endure a list of "Special" Features after sitting through this film made me cringe. Fortunately, (for me at least) the list of extras was virtually non-existent with only the original trailer included as an added "benefit" to the film. Fret not, this was short so the experience wasn't too terribly painful…

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Critter Critique: This week's review brought to you by Gavin.
Fatal Attraction:  Yet another example of Hollywood schlock served up in a double boiler. Though Fatal Attraction starts innocently enough, I was shocked and appalled to witness the on-screen atrocity put forth as entertainment in act three. Trust me, this one is not fit for man nor beast. Ginger Pants