Tank Girl Is The Anarchic Sci-Fi Movie We Need In Our Modern Dystopia

“Tank Girl” diverges quite a bit from the comics that inspired it, but its heroine’s indomitable spirit and anti-establishment attitude translated over well.┬áLori Petty played the titular troublemaker and embodied her ferocious brand of beer-chugging, sex-positive feminism with panache. Tank and her friends are fighting against the evil corporation Water & Power, led by Kesslee (Malcolm McDowell being as arch as he possibly can). As Tank explains in the movie’s opening scene, Water & Power “control most of the water, and got all the power” after a comet hit the planet and decimated our weather systems. Water has become such a finite resource that controlling the few water sources left means the corporation controls everything (kind of like Immortan Joe in “Mad Max: Fury Road,” but more greasy and corporate).

The movie starts in 2033, and┬áTank Girl and her gang of desert survivors seem to be doing pretty well for themselves out in the wastelands. Tank has a sweet oxen to ride, she has a boyfriend, and there are several children running around playing happily. Unfortunately, they’re also stealing their water because there’s no way they could ever afford it, and all end up being arrested by corporate grunts. For the sin of stealing water, they’re sentenced to hard labor, setting the movie’s ridiculous plot in motion as Tank Girl tries to find her friends and take power back from Kesslee and his crew. It’s a story of rebellion against a capitalist evil set in a landscape of diminishing resources, which, well, kind of resonates in 2023.

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