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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tank Girl - A Film Review

I really enjoyed this look at the making of Tank Girl (1995) and why the movie bombed. I saw the movie when I was 12 on video, and really enjoyed it. I loved the post-apocalyptic cyber-punk look of it; the weirdness of Tank Girl and Lori Petty acting like a comic book character; the mutant kangaroos and hearing Ice T's voice coming out of one of them; the desert setting a la Mad Max; Naomi Watts' performance as Jet Girl, the Australian shy and nerdy pilot/mechanic; Malcolm McDowell as the hammy villain; the kickass rock soundtrack that I bought a copy of soon afterwards (Hole, Belly, L7, Bjork, Joan Jett, Portishead), and the comic panels and animated sequences that I later found out were only in there because the movie ran out of money to film action sequences. I've seen it again as an adult, and while I can see flaws with it (I can't stand the musical sequence, the plot gets messy in the last third; Petty can be annoying sometimes), I still like the movie. The movie failed because of studio intervention to cut scenes and mess around with the director's work and the movie turned into a big mess. 

I looked up the director Rachel Talalay to see what she's doing now, and she directed two episodes of Doctor Who this year and has done a lot of TV directing over the past decade. Lori Petty was on Orange is the New Black season two and directed a decent indie movie called The Poker House starring Jennifer Lawrence pre-fame. And while I liked Naomi Watts, I didn't hear of her for several years afterwards, thinking she'd just be an obscure actor, and was happy when she became an A-list star.

This movie isn't for everyone. It can be really weird and loud, and it is very 90's, which can be good for being an experimental, risk-taking movie and also for being really dated and old. If this is your kind of movie, I suggest checking it out.

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