Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Movie Review: "Dick Tracy" (1990)

Director: Warren Beatty
Year: 1990
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Detective Dick Tracy tries to bring down mob boss Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice, who has consolidated all criminal activity in the city under one umbrella controlled by him.

Dick Tracy 1990 movie gif Warren Beatty punch
"Big Boy's on the street and they wanna stick me behind a desk?" (Image Source)
Today, in 2018, so many comic book films have been made that people are starting to get fatigued with this very oversaturated market. Wipe "The Avengers" from your mind, forget about "Suicide Squad," screw "Spider-Man." We want to take it back to one of the first comic book movies we ever saw, a forgotten gem and a childhood favorite of ours. Director and film star Warren Beatty brings Chester Gould's noir comic strip world of "Dick Tracy" to life in this feature film adaptation. The screenplay is written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr. In this story, "Big Boy" Caprice (Al Pacino) has been making a move on his rival crime bosses. He is gaining control of all organized crime in the city. Big Boy has paid off many politicians to look the other way while he does his criminal misdeeds, but one man can't be bought: Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty), who is determined to bring Big Boy down at all costs. While fighting crime, Tracy is also dealing with many ongoing personal matters. He is trying to take the next step in his longtime relationship with Tess Trueheart (Glenne Headly), he is actively attempting to rebuff his pending promotion to police chief, and he has also recently taken an orphan known as The Kid (Charlie Korsmo) under his wing to keep him away from a life of crime.
Dick Tracy 1990 movie gif Madonna sexy Warren Beatty
"I know how you feel. You don't know if you wanna hit me or kiss me. I get a lot of that." (Image Source)
"Dick Tracy" is a visually stunning film with amazing sets, brilliant makeup work, and terrific costuming. The eye-popping colors, the intricate props, the way the buildings lay to lean into its comic book feel, this whole project looks like a live-action cartoon or a comic strip. It is evident that director Warren Beatty was filled with passion for this film, and watching his technicolor dream spring to life with such success makes us love it even more. While the visuals are tremendous, we will admit that the dialogue is a bit cheesy at times, and the story doesn't exactly flow all that well. The plot is also a tad contrived, and may even have a hole here and there, but we have so much fun watching this flick that we are willing to overlook stuff like that so we can sit back and have an amazing time with it. The film is overloaded with A-list stars of the era, and each actor gives a tremendous performance. Warren Beatty does a stellar job as the titular Dick Tracy, and we think he embodies the spirit of this character really well. We have often given Beatty flack for "not having it," but he certainly got it right in front of and behind the camera this time around. Beatty's performance, however, doesn't come close to that of Al Pacino's. As Big Boy, Pacino offers just the right amount of bombastic flair in this (well-deserved) Oscar-nominated performance. Last but not least, we have to talk about the music. Oooooh, the music! We love the soundtrack and Danny Elfman's score so, so much. Stephen Sondheim created several of the iconic songs on the soundtrack, and they are performed by the likes of Madonna, Mandy Patinkin, or Janis Siegel, Cheryl Bentyne or Lorraine Feather. These songs capture the jazzy nature of the '30s while simultaneously maintaining a slight modern edge to keep the audience hanging on each refrain.
Dick Tracy 1990 movie gif Al Pacino Warren Beatty
"When you are dead, then you are out. You are not out." (Image Source)
Maybe it's because we have a nostalgic fondness for "Dick Tracy," but we believe this film has held up well over time, and it even eclipses some modern comic book movies in our minds. This is a film totally worth experiencing and enjoying as quickly as possible.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.1/10
RT Rating: 64%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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