HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Aurora Encounter, The
Breaking In
Breaking In
Please Stand By
Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County, The
Deadpool 2
Smart Money
Lupin the Third vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
Gangsta
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Spitfire
Killers from Space
Castle of the Creeping Flesh
Ghost Stories
   
 
Newest Articles
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
   
 
  Tank Malling This Man Is NewsBuy this film here.
Year: 1989
Director: James Marcus
Stars: Ray Winstone, Jason Connery, Amanda Donohoe, Glen Murphy, Marsha Hunt, Peter Wyngarde, John Conteh, Don Henderson, John Bett, Craig Fairbrass, Jamie Foreman, Wayne Norman, Terry Marsh, Jess Conrad, Nick Brimble, Nick Berry, Melissa Wilkes
Genre: Thriller, Trash
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Two years ago, newspaper reporter John "Tank" Malling (Ray Winstone) nearly had his career utterly derailed when he became involved with high class prostitute Helen Searle (Amanda Donohoe), who wished him to assist her in taking down a conspiracy that stretched to the farthest echelons of British society. But however accurate her claims had been, the establishment were not about to roll over and so Tank was discredited and almost lost his job. Now he has made a comeback in his chosen profession, nothing major but it pays the bills, when Helen reappears and asks him to track down an incriminating diary...

Possibly one of the worst-reviewed British films of all time, now it's the twenty-first century Tank Malling does perhaps need reappraisal. Not because it was any good, it still isn't, but because what looked like an abberation in the country's cinematic output now appears to have been very prescient in its wallow in the seedy underworld of gangsters and corruption. Those British criminal thrillers and football hooligan movies and comedies with a meanspirited streak a mile wide: they all have this as their forefather, no matter that there were movies before this covering the same ground.

But it looks like those efforts aimed at the half-drunk looking for mindless home entertainment on a Friday night had their grounding established here. Take a bunch of actors and celebrities for stunt casting (in this case eighties glamour model Maria Whittaker as herself and boxer John Conteh as a hitman), a few "hey... isn't that Zammo's girlfriend from Grange Hill?" style bit parts, and a production team of likely lads who took this to their hearts as their pet project making it one step above amateur hour, and Bob was indeed your uncle. There were those who complained it was relentlessly boring as well as unutterably nasty, but while the latter may have been true, others divined unintentional comedy in its attempts to be gritty.

Grotty was more like it, with Winstone's features permanently twisted in an incredulous scowl no matter what Tank's life throws at him - and why is he called Tank when nobody refers to him as that in the film? What kind of a nickname is that, anyway? Hey-ho, it doesn't really matter because as bad as the title is, the rest more than lives up to it as our hero gets embroiled with a scheme to allow self-styled moralists a stranglehold over British life, led by a dazed-looking Peter Wyngarde. He plays, in his final role, Sir Robert Knights ("Sir" and "Knights" in the same name? He must be important!), who is actually a religious maniac and effectively a mouthpiece for some kind of fascist organisation which is trying to exert vice-like control.

Except that we see they already have their hooks in every area of the nation's power structure, so how much more do they need? Tank is presumably intended to be like the Warren Beatty character in The Parallax View, so much so that whole plot points are lifted from that cult classic willy-nilly without much thought to how they would fit into the culture from this side of the Atlantic. Defence of the Realm, Edge of Darkness on television, these are the UK conspiracy thrillers that got it right because to many the powers that be in that time were believably sinister, whereas here the bad guys are laughably cartoonish, especially Jason Connery's Nazi-esque puppetmaster. Not quite consistently absurd to be hilarious yet still fatally silly when it's trying to shock or make you go "Hmm", you could chalk this up to a brave try, but the fact that so many followed in its footsteps means that Tank Malling had the last laugh. Music by Rick Fenn and Nick Mason.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3515 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
   

 

Last Updated: