Dick Tracy

D: Warren Beatty
Touchstone/Silver Screen Partners IV (Warren Beatty)
USA 🇺🇸 1990
103 mins


W: Jim Cash & Jack Epps, Jr. [based on characters from the comic book created by Chester Gould]
DP: Vittorio Storaro
Ed: Richard Marks
Mus: Danny Elfman; Stephen Sondheim
PD: Richard Sylbert
Cos: Milena Canonero

Warren Beatty (Dick Tracy), Charlie Korsmo (Kid), Glenne Headly (Tess Trueheart), Madonna (Breathless Mahoney), Al Pacino (Big Boy Caprice), Dustin Hoffman (Mumbles), William Forsyth (Flat Top), Charles Durning (Chief Brandon), Mandy Patinkin (88 Keys), Paul Sorvino (Lips Manlis)

Warren Beatty's performance is too wooden and lacks charisma to do true justice to the eponymous comic strip character, but his direction brings a fantastic visual style, with sets and costumes of primary colours captured handsomely by Vittorio Storaro's photography for a real cutting edge comic book look. Most of the stars are virtually unrecognisable in brilliant prosthetic makeup, especially Al Pacino, who is fantastic as Big Boy Caprice, but aside from those mentions of merit it's incredibly boring due to a rather limp narrative.  Madonna's performance isn't helped, miscast as a gangster's moll who just seems to be cast to aimlessly coo through Stephen Sondheim's original songs.
Style over substance, definitely, but enjoyable in fits & starts.

Warren Beatty in Dick Tracy
Warren Beatty in Dick Tracy