Tank Girl – Review in Context – NYT

I decided to do some research on Tank Girl and I found an interesting critical review that was published at the time the Tank Girl movie was released in 1995. The article was published in the New York Times and is written by Janet Maslin; a highly credited critic. In her review she states that unless you are already a fan of the punk movement then this movie is not for you.She shrugs of all the big issues crazy elements are merely spoofs. In this way she gives the hard blow to the heart of Tank Girl and discourages the non punk upper class reader of the NYT from every considering to see the movie.  It is merely shrugged off as a product of the crazy teen punk spirit. (can you smell it?) In this way she perhaps captures a sentiment of the time by the mass culture against the inner core of the punk movement.

What’s interesting is that her reaction to the movie does not differ that greatly from the reaction of our class today. She does not take Tank Girl seriously and attempts to ignore its core driving force of sexual radical acceptance. If Tank Girl had been released this summer and this same review published it would still be viable. (I mean how many of us would of gone to see Tank Girl in Theater? How many of our parents would of after reading this NYT article? Not mine.) This shows that one of the great let downs of Tank Girl is its inability to be taken seriously. It does a good job raising a ton of issues but with the context that they are presented in the only people who are going to appreciate it are people who are already familiar with those issues anyways. Tank Girl in its lack of mass appeal fails to reach new people with the message of the Riot Grrrl and Punk Rock movement. Which seems to be radical and complete acceptance of everything and everyone. Not a matter to be shrugged off at all.

Maslin, Janet. “Tank Girl (1995) FILM REVIEW; Brash and Buzz-Cut Atop Her Beloved Tank.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 31 Mar. 1995. Web. 8 Oct. 2014.


One response to “Tank Girl – Review in Context – NYT

  1. That’s really interesting that some critics of that time don’t realize the importance of the main societal issues and conflicts that are represented in this movie, but only see it for what it is on the surface without reading into the context much. Thanks for looking into this!


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