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Prime Movie Review: Tank Girl

Tank Girl is about a girl in a tank and it’s awesome. I wish that could be the whole review.

I say it’s awesome, but I should mention that it is not really a… good movie. It’s from the 90’s and it’s based on a comic book with the same name. No one was really happy with how the movie turned out for a whole host of reasons, but mainly a lack of funds. But the people making the movie were driven and loved the source material, so they pressed on.

The Gist

Tank Girl is a movie set in a post-apocalypse Australia and follows the adventures of Rebecca, AKA Tank Girl as she siphons water from the villains, gets captured, recruits a nervous engineer who was forced to work for the baddies, gets a tank, recruits an army of vicious “rippers,” and breaks into the villains base to save a young girl that was captured from her home.

Movie vs. Comic

The original comic is heavily influenced by punk culture and after looking at some panels from the comic, I wondered how an under-budget movie from the 90’s could possibly do justice to the original comic. All things considered, the movie did pretty good and I can only imagine how awesome it would have been had the director’s dreams been realized. After the movie was over, I said aloud, “No! I want more!”

The movie is definitely a cult classic and I can’t recommend this movie to everybody. I personally enjoyed it and will make my friends watch it with me completely sober, I swear. It’s not a good movie, but it’s a fun movie with lots of apocalypse/punk aesthetic so if you’re into that like I am, check it out.

Cool Stuff

The movie does a really neat thing where, instead of showing the outside of building as an establishing shot, they use panels from the comic. I think it was a cool stylistic choice and I suspect it was one of those under-budget solutions. The movie uses comic panels around a dozen times throughout the movie to help tell the story and even has a couple 30-second-to-a-minute 2D animated sequences that I absolutely loved; I wish there was a feature length remake of Tank Girl entirely in that animated style.

I just looked up some stuff about the Tank Girl comics and the art style looked familiar, but I couldn’t place it. After searching for a while, I learned that the guy that co-created Tank Girl also co-created The Gorillaz. Jamie Hewlett has a distinct style.

The A E S T H E T I C

I can’t in good conscience call myself a punk, but I’ve always aspired to be punk. That said, I really loved all the outfits that Tank Girl wears in the movie, the rest of the set and costume design is solid, and the soundtrack is pretty 90’s punk. There were a few soft tracks, but the movie can’t be all action all the time (although maybe it should be, based on what little I know of the comics).


Tank Girl isn’t for everyone, but I really enjoyed it because it’s punk, ridiculous, fun, and didn’t take itself too seriously. I’m left wanting more and look forward to reading the comics as soon as I can.

Oh and Ice-T is in this movie. He does a song and plays a character. A+

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