Warren Beatty; screenwriters: Jack EppsJr./Bo
Goldman/Lorenzo Semple, Jr./Jim Cash/based on the
comic strip by Chester Gould; cinematographer: Vittorio
Storaro; editor: Richard Marks; music: Danny
Elfman/Jeff Lass/Andy Paley/Stephen Sondheim;
cast: Warren Beatty (Dick Tracy), Charlie Korsmo
(Kid), Glenne Headly (Tess Trueheart), Madonna
(Breathless Mahoney), Al Pacino (Big Boy Caprice),
Dustin Hoffman (Mumbles), Charles Durning
(Chief Brandon), William Forsythe (Flattop),
James Caan (Spaldoni), Estelle
Parsons (Mrs. Trueheart), Dick Van Dyke (D.A.
Fletcher), Paul Sorvino (Lips Manlis), R.
G. Armstrong (Pruneface), Seymour Cassel
(Sam Catchem), Michael J. Pollard (Bug
Bailey), Henry Silva (Influence),
Lawrence Steven Meyers (Little Face), Mandy
Patinkin (88 Keys), Chuck Hicks (The
Brow), Neil Summers (The Rodent), Stig
Eldred (Shoulders), Ed O'Ross (Itchy);
Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Warren
Beatty/Jon Landau/Art Linson/Floyd Mutrux/Barrie M.
Osborne/Jim Van Wyck; Touchstone Pictures;
"Fails to be a compelling watch."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
stylized big-budget live movie based on the popular
newspaper comic-strip by Chester Gould. It looks great
using the same seven colors employed in the comic
strip, but has a rote two-dimensional story,
fails to be a compelling watch and couldn't be more of
a bore. Warren Beatty ("Heaven Can
Wait"/"Bulworth"/"Reds") flatly directs this
extravaganza set in the 1930s and plays the
square-jawed Dick Tracy, who wears a yellow raincoat
and fedora and on his wrist wears a two-way-radio. The
only thing Tracy fears, we're told, is a desk
job and marriage.
long-time loyal girlfriend is the redhead Tess
Trueheart (Glenne Headly), while a
feisty orphan kid (Charlie Korsmo) tags
along with his hero cop and hopes some day to be
adopted by him.
Jack EppsJr., Bo Goldman, Lorenzo Semple, Jr. and
Jim Cash, besides handing in a limp script, give
the cop an outbreak of violence in the big city and
the cop has to round-up a host of grotesque goonish
numerous villains are outlandish, but have too little
screen time to make much of an impression before
disappearing from the screen. The list includes the
likes of Flattop (William Forsythe), Little Face (Lawrence
Steven Meyers), The Brow (Chuck Hicks),
Pruneface (R. G. Armstrong), Mumbles (Dustin
Hoffman), and Lips Manlis (Paul Sorvino).
But the main crook, Big Boy Caprice
(Al Pacino), has a big part and steals the pic, in
fact he's the only one in the film who keeps you awake.
Big Boy goes on comical rants, misquotes Nietzsche,
is heavily made-up as a hunchback (like in
Richard III) and sports a Hitler
mustache. Also having a key role in the movie is a
torch singer named Breathless Mahoney
(Madonna), who tries to seduce the
straight-arrow Tracy and get him to go over to his
dark side in trade for her testimony as a crime
The main plot revolves around if a compromised Tracy can rescue in time his kidnapped girlfriend Tess, held in a power plant, where she was snatched by unknown criminals who don't bother to send a ransom note.
REVIEWED ON 7/292012 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ