Tank Girl ~ 1995, Rachel Talalay
THE PLOT: In the future, there is no water. A group of dummies goof around and who gives a shit. Also, our lead character has sex with a mentally retarded kangaroo monster.
Basically, it’s a world where you act as stupid as possible, and everything works out for you anyway, except for when it doesn’t, but that’s only ever just a set up for things to work out even more so a little down the road.
Tank Girl is a movie tailored to appeal to the Generation X kids of yesteryear, a youth culture that, if Tank Girl is to be believed, was fully devoted to being a stupid asshole at all times. I hope Tank Girl was as wrong about it’s audience as it was about absolutely everything else. It can safely be said that this is one of the worst movies of all time.
I’m not an expert on the Tank Girl comic book, although I have read some of it. From what I’ve seen, this is a terrible, halfway style adaptation, and halfway isn’t enough. The Tank Girl comics that I’ve read operate by a frantic, near surrealist style of logic, suggesting that the storytellers are “too cool” to obey the laws of traditional narrative, and can’t be bothered to “make sense” when they’re having so much fun just doing whatever they want. The film tries to capture some of that energy, but it doesn’t have the guts to go all the way, so they end up trying to capture non-traditional narrative style logic from within the confines of a very traditional narrative. How does that wash out? Not well, what we end up with is slapstick and cartoon logic in enough of the mix to dissolve any sense of danger or realism when every other aspect of the production is trying to go the opposite direction, and they try to split the difference with uninspired gags that are the furthest thing from funny. The Tank Girl comic is successful not because of WHAT they do, but HOW they did it, and the how is something this film doesn’t get right. Surprise surprise, it ends up not working, and you have an inexcusable piece of shit.
Ugh. It’s just so awful. Tank Girl (The character) knows but three ways to respond to any given situation; 1. Act like a moron. 2. Act like a moron, but somehow people around you manage to die (fighting) 3. Act like Bugs Bunny (and also still a moron.) Are we, the audience, supposed to think any of this is funny?
(Special note: Still better than Sucker Punch.)