With exaggerated characters, vivid colors, creative action, and by not losing energy even with story development, Dick Tracy is a pure distillation of comics' essence, down to their emotional broadness by not moving out of melodrama. At only 105 minutes, far shorter than Marvel films and Burton's and Nolan's Batman series, it's swifter and more masterfully executed, if as obtusely told as modern vomit-draft scripts.
This is a frustrating review, because visually, Dick Tracy is a masterpiece, an insane concoction of colours, makeup, and Art Deco galore. But the story & characters are so wooden/ and the dialogue feels like it wouldn't make it in a weak episode of the 60s Adam West Batman show. The weird thing is I remember liking this as a kid, but now I'm starting to question whether I just payed attention the set design.
Warren Beatty barely registers in the lead role, Madonna is woefully miscast, Al Pacino devours the scenery like it's his last meal, and yet - I dare say it doesn't matter, for the simple fact that "Dick Tracy" boasts some of the most astounding art direction and production design in the history of cinema. Every frame resembles a comic strip come to life, with primary colors and matte paintings that absolutely pop.
Technically a triumph with kudos to Richard Sylbert's production design, Milena Canonero's costumes, the cinematography of Vittorio Storaro and the makeup department. Unfortunately performance and story wise it's pretty much a wash out. Beatty made a bland Tracy, Madonna a vacuous Breathless and the rest of the cast let the makeup do the acting save the great Hoffman cameo. Colour never looked so vibrant though.
Ok I saw this in the theater back in the day. The costumes and sets are amazing. But, unfortunately, I don't think that Warren Beatty fits the role for Dick Tracy - too pretty boy (yes even at that age), and not enough grit. Mr. Ambivalent. Dick Tracy needs to be a bit starker looks and voice-wise. But a great film visually. Even with Madonna. ;)
Bold and beautiful primary colors splashed across the screen with confident technical virtuosity. The plot and characters have the simple, mythic innocence of a Sunday afternoon comic strip mixed with a marvelous old Hollywood feel. This film is a one-of-a-kind work of visual pop art. Beatty pushed the envelope at that time in terms of creating a fully credible yet wholly stylized world. A summer movie for the ages.
Warren Beatty just won his lawsuit over the film & TV rights to the character, so I'm hoping this means we'll *finally* get his director's cut. I love this movie, from its production design to costumes, from the music to the makeup. And I thought the story was decent and the cast terrific. I even thought Madonna was perfectly cast as Breathless Mahoney.