Dick Tracy (1990)

Dir: Warren Beatty, 1990


Dick Tracy. The many hours of amusement that name created for kids all the way back in 1990. 

Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty) is a hardboiled detective. Kitted out in a yellow trenchcoat with matching hat, Tracy is a hard working cop determined to rid the streets of crime in the 1930’s.

Hunting down crime lords such as “Big Boy” Caprice (Al Pacino) and his henchmen, assassin Flattop (William Forsythe) and acquiring information from grass’s like Mumbles (Dustin Hoffman), you can be sure the forever on call ‘tec will finish what he started.

Based on the comic strip by Chester Gould, Dick Tracy is a visually brilliant adaptation of the classic character.

As director, Beatty has created a near perfect live action depiction of what was featured in the daily newspaper.

The cast all do fantastically and really get behind the role they’re playing.

Made up with cosmetics, Pacino overracts as Caprice but it’s what he’s supposed to be doing, creating a larger than life comic book character. It’s plainly obvious that the Oscar winner got the film and the character and portrayed him superbly.

Having little screen time, Hoffman is excellent as the incoherent snitch, murmuring his lines toward Beatty.

Of course, part of the film’s fame is the starring role of Madonna as femme fatale Breathless Mahoney.

The controversial singer tries her best to smoulder but, really, it’s just like trying to light a wet match.

Blessed with a vocal talent, an acting one she wasn’t. The erstwhile Queen of Sleaze wouldn’t look out of place in a lumbers yard.

Beatty has got a real grasp of the concept of comic strips and has produced a, true, live action comic.

Unfortunately, the plot lets the film down.

It’s not very exciting or, even, interesting. There’s a lot going off and it’s very fast paced but it still can’t hold your attention.

The make up is phenomenal and the cast all look the part.

On balance, the negative outweighs the positive and that’s a shame as it had the potential to be a damn good film.

Not brilliant but okay for a watch.


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