Owen Gleiberman
June 22, 1990 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Dick Tracy

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG
runtime
103 minutes
performer
Warren Beatty, Glenne Headly, Charlie Korsmo, Madonna, Al Pacino, Mandy Patinkin, Dick Van Dyke, Charles Durning, William Forsythe, Dustin Hoffman
director
Warren Beatty
distributor
Buena Vista Pictures
author
Jim Cash
genre
Sci-fi and Fantasy, Comedy, Mystery and Thriller, ActionAdventure

We gave it a B-

More than Batman or Superman, Warren Beatty’s bid to ace the summer-movie sweepstakes has been fashioned as a live-action comic strip — a lavishly eye-popping Day-Glo gangster movie. Beatty and his team of collaborators have heightened the vibrantly tawdry urban nightworld of Chester Gould’s classic comic strip: It’s as if a ’30s crime-wave melodrama had been colorized by Andy Warhol. As an exercise in American pop surrealism, the picture succeeds brilliantly, yet it also feels thin and dissociated. Beatty plays the hard-boiled Tracy as a charming, polite nothing, a Clark Kent with no Superman inside him. Overall, Dick Tracy could have used a little less color and a little more flesh and blood.

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