Dominion Tank Police

Dominion Tank Police

TP4

The year is 2010, and Newport City is a dark, dirty, and generally horrible place to live. A large bacterial cloud has settled over Earth, mandating that people wear gas masks when they go outside. On top of that, the crime rate has become incredibly high, with a major felony being committed every 10 seconds on average. To combat this problem, the Tank Police were created, a special branch of the police who are equipped with, of course, high-tech tanks, used to destroy everything but the criminals they’re trying to catch. Your tax money at work.

When a cyborg makes a hit on a hospital to steal some blood plasma samples related to a possible cure to the bacteria cloud, the Tank Police move in to prove that they really don’t know what they’re doing. Cue major hijinks and police brutality on a massive scale.

Okay, I appreciate what Tank Police was intended to do, but I can’t help but imagine what it could have been: crime drama, action comedy, a dystopic film – I could go on. Instead we get some terrible mish-mash of it all as it tries to be everything and achieves nothing. It will try for one angle and then swerve in a completely different direction. I’ve never seen a feature have so many identity crises from start to finish.

TP3When I first began watching I wasn’t particularly bowled over by the art and animation either. It looked just like the kind of mediocre stuff that you could watch on any weekend morning slot on television. The music is usually jarring and doesn’t complement the storyline or action at all. It’s all a bit new-agey with an odd seasoning of disco and gets irritating quickly.

The same goes for the characters. Even though I know they’re supposed to be a little zealous and haphazard by nature, I only found them unbearably over-the-top and uncomfortable to watch. Their overly exaggerated actions to everything wore thin – especially since I was watching the dub. The reason I usually prefer subbed anime is mainly for this reason. There’s always something lost in translation and it’s usually replaced with English/American cultural phrases and sayings that you wouldn’t ever find a Japanese character saying in an original anime or manga – and this just doesn’t sit right with me. It doesn’t help that I found one of the core characters, Leona, completely infuriating with her silly quirks and incessant whining. Good thing this was just over an hour long as I barely managed to sit all the way through it.

TP2

As for the plot, Dominion Tank Police actually really tries to establish one (thank goodness), but sadly it’s not a continual focus. It feels like the writers started out with something resembling a decent plot, decided that fanservice and silliness was the way to go in the middle of it (perhaps they were drunk), sobered up and then decided to wrap things up quickly. It’s like there were a handful of established plot points but no one had any idea how to link them up, so opting for off-the-wall craziness was an easy way of commuting the characters (who have no real established personalities) from one point to another and thought: “There. Objectives achieved.”

I’m not going to completely write it off though, as I can’t say that all of it was an animated car-crash of a film. There are a few endearing moments scattered throughout the insanity and there is the odd short segment that is relatively lucid and so has the potential to strike a chord with the audience. However, due to the inconsistent plot the good stuff never seems to last and everything dissolves yet again into overzealous yelling, unnecessarily elongated action scenes, tacky fanservice and bad-taste humour (I have three words for you: giant penis roadblocks). And the ending is just complete confusion that ties up nothing, resulting in me wondering what I had just spent an hour of my life watching.

TP1
Because YOU KNOW you wanna see ’em in action.

I don’t claim to be able to see how many important things you have going on in your life, but I would wager that almost everyone has more important things to be doing rather than waste time watching this film.