Despite Hollywood, still a giggle

Issue 

Tank Girl
A Rachel Talalay film
Reviewed by Jen Crothers

In the future of Tank Girl, the world is struck by a comet, turning the whole planet into a desert. It hasn't rained in 11 years, and water is power. The Water and Power Company just happens to have both.

Enter our hero, Rebecca Buck, soon to be known as Tank Girl. When Water and Power storms Rebecca's house to get back the water she and her mates are "stealing", they take her prisoner and, it seems, kill everybody else.

Tank Girl's mission is to escape, to right wrongs and to liberate the water supply. To do all this she must defeat the ruthless Kesslee, head of W&P. Along the way she meets Jet Girl, a brilliant mechanic, who has a bit of trouble with her self-esteem. Tank and Jet are a great team, Jet adding (some) caution to Tank's recklessness.

Tank Girl is insolent, impudent and outrageous. She's bawdy, sassy, witty and charming. Most of all, she's smart. Her irreverent humour gets her into as many tricky situations as it gets her out of.

Tank is not a martial arts expert, nor is she even particularly strong. One of her main tools against the bad guys is her sexuality.

Jet protests, "Those guys'll mangle you!", when Tank wants to get close to a stash of weapons to photograph them.

"Jet, they're men", says Tank deadpan, as she prances in, asking the guys to model for her "calendar".

To diehard fans of the comic strip, the film may disappoint. It's not a particularly accurate portrayal. She doesn't drink any beer on screen, there's little swearing, and it's not clear that she actually bonks Booga the Ripper (mutant kangaroo). Considering the amount of rough and tumble Tank and Jet are involved in, it's a little weird to see their lipstick perfect all the time. You wouldn't really expect them to be the kind of girls who'd be too worried about it.

Basically Tank has been tampered with by the big business of Hollywood. However, it's not so bad; she's still a little psychotic, even without the freedom of being lines on a page.

Original and new animation and an excellent soundtrack link the film and enhance its racy pace and punch. I came out of the film leaping around like a mad thing.

It's not often that you get to see strong female characters beating up the bad guys and then not "paying for it". For this reason alone, the film is a good watch. But more than this, Tank Girl stands alone as fun, exciting and gigglesome. Beef Curtains!