105 Min | Action – Comedy – Crime | July 1990
IMDB Rating: 6.1
Director: Warren Beatty
Starring: Warren Beatty, Madonna, Al Pacino
Dick Tracy Review: “Dick Tracy” is a film about the exploits of detective Dick Tracy, based on a comic series. While Dick Tracy is a detective, this film cannot be properly called a mystery film. There is only one major mystery in the film and that mystery is only a minor element of the story. “Dick Tracy” is better classified as a constant battle between Dick Tracy and a local mob, headed by Big Boy Caprice. The fictional city that is the setting of the film incorporates the technology and mob activities of 1930s Chicago and has scenes that are very colorful and an interesting mix of realistic and unrealistic backgrounds. Even the costumes and 1930s style cars are colorful, with Dick Tracy himself wearing yellow detective attire. This film features a great soundtrack by Danny Elfman and equally great original songs from Steven Sondheim, my favorite being “Back in Business”.
Warren Beatty delivers an interesting performance as Dick Tracy. Tracy is self-assured and even excessive in fighting crime, yet awkward when interacting with women. Glenne Headly is effective as Tracy’s girlfriend, Tess Trueheart, and Madonna is appropriate as Breathless Mahoney. Charlie Korsmo should also be commended for a solid performance as “The Kid”. The villains of this film only come in one shade: over-the-top, whether in appearance, performance or both. Al Pacino is in command of the mob as Big Boy Caprice, who cannot be taken seriously at any time for the film’s duration. The supporting villains are also notable, with Dustin Hoffman giving an amusing performance as Mumbles.
The story has enough developments to keep the film interesting. Essentially the bulk of the film is like a game of chess where Tracy and Caprice make their moves to try and topple the other. The film also explores Tracy’s relationship with Tess and his interactions with Breathless. Overall “Dick Tracy” is a successful adaptation of the popular comic series.