Combustible Celluloid
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With: Lori Petty, Ice-T, Naomi Watts, Don Harvey, Jeff Kober, Reg E. Cathey, Scott Coffey, Malcolm McDowell, Stacy Linn Ramsower, Ann Cusack, Brian Wimmer, Iggy Pop, Dawn Robinson, Billy L. Sullivan, James Hong, Charles Lucia
Written by: Tedi Sarafian, based on the comic by Alan Martin, Jamie Hewlett
Directed by: Rachel Talalay
MPAA Rating: R for violence, language and sexuality
Running Time: 104
Date: 03/31/1995

Tank Girl (1995)

3 Stars (out of 4)

It's Been Swell

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The makers of most movies based on comic books feel they have to explain the character to such a degree that even the stupidest people will get it. In this process, some of the most essential characteristics of the character get weeded out and we get a watered-down weenie version of the character for the movie. There isn't much to explain with Tank Girl, and she's here in a fair representation of her comic book self, although she doesn't smoke as much or drink as much beer as her printed counterpart. Lori Petty (Point Break) makes a charming Tank Girl; she stomps around, hoots and hollers and makes witty remarks. Malcolm McDowell plays the villain, and he's really nasty and fun to watch. Visually, while the movie's post-apocalyptic set pieces aren't as accomplished as, say, the ones in The Road Warrior, it does have a few unique things, such as mutant kangaroos and a musical number. Also, there is original comic artwork by creator Jamie Hewlett popping up between the action, which wisely cuts down on the costs of creating actual explosions, fight scenes, etc. It's a gimmick, but the gimmick works. Ultimately, I had a lot more fun at this movie that I did at Batman Forever.

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