Movie Review

Dick Tracy

Reviewed by: Bill Royce
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
12 to Adult
Genre:
Action / Adventure
Length:
1 hr. 43 min.
PG

Starring: Warren Beatty, Charlie Korsmo, Michael Donovan O'Donnell, Jim Wilkey | Director: Warren Beatty | Writers: Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr.

The Chester Gould comic book detective returns to the big screen in this stylistic and colorful live action film. The daring lawman Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty) aims to stop organized crime in his city while maintaining a relationship with Tess Trueheart. However, Big Boy Caprice (Al Pacino) and his associates stand in Tracy’s way. With the help of a mysterious stranger, No Face, Big Boy frames Tracy for murder. Without Tracy on the streets, crime flourishes. But when all looks bad for Tracy, his G-men get him out of jail to end Big Boy’s crime syndicate once and for all and save Tess.

Comparatively, “Dick Tracy,” resembles “Batman” (1989) in comic book style and plot but follows a brighter tone. The use of bright colored costumes, sets, and vehicles makes the movie more upbeat and exciting to watch. Surprisingly the character of Dick Tracy comes off as smart, tough, loyal, and committed. He does not fit the modern Hollywood hero. He stays loyal to his girlfriend, lives alone, and is devoted to justice. In one scene Dick Tracy brushes off the seductive overtures of Breathless Mahoney (Madonna) while asking her to testify. In another scene, he refuses to take a bribe from Big Boy to stay off his back.

The world of Dick Tracy is one of wrongdoers and authorities. Though evil may triumph for a time, justice is around the corner. Because of Adam’s fall [ do not click here ] evil entered the world but God set authorities in the world to bring punishment to wrongdoers for the sake of the righteous (Romans 13:4). The movie is an outworking of this worldview.

Like most action movies “Dick Tracy” features portions of violence including an explosion and numerous shootouts. Unsurprisingly, some of Madonna’s costumes are immodest. Additionally, there are a few adult situations and themes present, plus some language that is suggestive.

Year of Release—1990

Viewer Comments
This film is splashed in bright colors, just like the comic strip you see in your papers. However, the colors are the only lively thing in the movie. Outlandish criminals and imaginative art direction do not make up for a weak script. The appearance of Dick Van Dyke is a nice touch, as well as several other well-known actors in cameo roles. My Ratings: [3/2]
—Hillari Hunter, age 37
“Dick Tracy” was a pretty good movie overall; but it would be inappropriate for younger children because of violence and sex. My Ratings: [3½/5]
—Josh Nicholson, age 21