Dick Tracy

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Dick Tracy --- Starring Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, and even Madonna

Jun 24, 2007
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:impressively constructed, stays true to story, Beatty and Madonna, great visuals

Cons:some slow parts for character development, might seem over-the-top at times

The Bottom Line: The story of Dick Tracy; brought to the big screen in a thoughtful method that stays true to the ideals of the characters and thus is recommended.


Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

The story of Dick Tracy evolved from the famous comic strip and short novels into comic book and iconic status long before Director Warren Beatty got hold of a script to bring it to the big screen. When it finally did come out, it was met with a lot of excitement, and ultimately 7 Oscar nominations for a film that most people have already forgotten about. It could be a mixture of things that caused it to be slide under the rug, but the main reason is probably that this was a film based on a comic that was presented as exactly that, a comic. Rather than trying to really blend the characters into the "real world" as most comics turned film have done, Dick Tracy sought to keep all of its originality and substance without really caving into what Hollywood might have wanted it to be. That of course was met with mixed results, with some people really liking it, and others finding it too far over the top.

Dick Tracy is a detective that is extremely good at what he does, and blends a sense of duty with the guts to do anything it takes to get the job done. He is a hero in many ways, doing an honest days work and not accepting bribes, while cleaning up the streets. This chapter of his story finds Dick Tracy facing many different villains, as a city is being ripped apart by crime and the mobs that run unchecked. The main villain of this story, Big Boy Caprice, seeks to join together all of the most vicious criminals of the city and stand as one against both Dick Tracy and anyone that might assist him. This includes wiping out those that won't join the group, and basically taking down the city with robberies, corruption, and demanding a cut of every business. Tracy is the only one that stands between Big Boy and the demise of the city, but may have his work cut out for him with the group of criminals that have been assembled.

Warren Beatty not only took the reigns of this film as the Director, but put himself in the title role. I think that looking at how Tracy acts, that Beatty was indeed a great person for the role. One thing that I didn't like though, was that it didn't seem like the main character took any risks that went "outside of the box", and you get exactly what you would expect from the Tracy character. Surrounding Beatty are a number of top notch actors including Al Pacino as Big Boy Caprice, Paul Sorvino, as Lips Manlis, Dustin Hoffman as Mumbles, and Kathy Bates as Mrs. Green just to name a few. Dick Van Dyke even makes an appearance and singer Madonna stars in one of the few roles that I have liked her; as temptress Breathless Mahoney who wants to have Tracy all to herself. A character film, there is no shortage of roles within the story, and though some of them are very brief, all of them are quite interesting.

One of the things that really stands out in Dick Tracy, is that the makeup and costuming is meant to present the characters as more than just men in a film. Characters with criminal names like The Brow, The Rodent, Flattop, Itchy, and Mumbles are all made to look exactly like their name would connotate. This makes it easy to remember names, and also really sets apart the good guys from the bad guys in the story. The film ended up winning Oscars for Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, and Best Original Song, along with nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actor (Pacino), Best Costume Design, and Best Sound. To be sure the movie is really well done to the eye, but I feel that some of the story may seem a little too silly for everyone to enjoy watching. Dick Tracy always gets his man, and there are moments where you may just roll your eyes about what is going on. I however, think that this was the best possible way to do the story, and that giving Tracy the over-the-top persona was necessary. It's not the best film you will ever see, but this is an above average comic book / detective story that is sure to provide enjoyment to those willing to not take it too seriously.





Recommend this product? Yes


Viewing Format: DVD


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