The plot of the movie is fairly simple. Big Boy Caprice (Al Pacino) is slowly taking over the city, picking off rival crime bosses and forces others to join his gang. His only problem is that Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty) is always hot on his tale. Then a new villian, The Blank, arrives in town and makes a proposal that Big Boy can't refuse.
The costumes and scenery are bright and colorful and look like a Dick Tracy comic strip come to life. Beatty does a decent job at both acting and directing. His Tracy does seem a bit emotionless at times, but that's the way Tracy is: he's a perfect cop who shows hardly any emotion.
Madonna doesn't do too bad of a job as Breathless Mahoney. Her acting isn't nearly as bad as the critics complained. She had all the seductivity of Mahoney, but seemingly not enough of her intelligence (a flaw she corrected in EVITA).
Stephen Soundheim wrote the movie's songs and won an Oscar for one. The musical score was composed by Danny Elfman and is quite reminiscent of BATMAN (I kept waiting for the bat signal to come on because the score is so similar). Also, the makeup is fantastic (see how many Hollywood stars you can find behind the silicone and latex wonders).
Overall, though the movie is somewhat outlandish, it is stylish. DICK TRACY isn't a thinking movie, but it is an interesting one. It proves to be an enjoyable piece of mind candy that doesn't take too long to chew.
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Dick Tracy is a 1990 American pulp action film based on the 1930s comic strip character of the same name created by Chester Gould. Warren Beatty produced, directed, and starred in the film, which features supporting roles from Al Pacino, Madonna, Glenne Headly, and Charlie Korsmo. Dick Tracy depicts the detective's love relationships with Breathless Mahoney and Tess Truehart, as well as his conflicts with crime boss Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice. Tracy also begins his upbringing of "The Kid".
Development of the film started in the early 1980s with Tom Mankiewicz assigned to write the script. The project also went through directors Steven Spielberg, John Landis, Walter Hill, and Richard Benjamin before the arrival of Beatty. Filming was entirely at Universal Studios. Danny Elfman was hired to compose the film score, and the music was featured on three separate soundtrack albums.
Dick Tracy was released in 1990 to mixed reviews, but was generally a success at the box office and at awards time. It picked up seven Academy Award nominations and won in three of the categories: Best Original Song, Best Makeup and Best Art Direction. A sequel was planned, but a controversy over the film rights ensued between Beatty and Tribune Media Services, and the lawsuit still goes on, so a second film has not been produced.