I know we live in a digital age, but who remembers waking up Sunday morning and trying to grab the comics section out of the Sunday paper before anyone else gets a chance to read it. Be honest. Everyone probably did it. As Alan Alda said in a different movie, “Start with the comics. You’ll live longer.” Now, how many people would read some of the comics and think that they would make a good movie. Well in the 40’s and 50’s, a number of movies based on comic strips were made. After the bombing of some films in the 80’s (although they would essentially become cult classics), they decided to stop making them. Then Warren Beatty decides to do a movie based on one of the most popular characters from the comics. Which leads us to today’s movie, Dick Tracy
The plot: During an illegal poker game, several gangsters are killed by some hoods working for Big Boy Caprice. Big Boy is trying to take control of the local crime syndicate and is killing off anyone that stands against him. The only problem he has is Dick Tracy, who is making it his mission to put Big Boy behind bars. Meanwhile, Tracy is trying to juggle his duties as a detective and his relationship with his girlfriend Tess when he finds himself the guardian of a street urchin named “Kid”. As Tracy tries to succeed in his quest to arrest Big Boy, he suddenly finds himself framed for the murder of the D.A. Now Tracy must prove his innocence while dealing with Big Boy and his henchmen, as well as the mysterious figure, The Blank.
Now I was living in Arlington, Texas when this movie came out. And while I was aware of the comic’s existence, neither of the two major papers carried the Dick Tracy comics at the time. However, one of the TV stations did start airing reruns of the old Dick Tracy cartoon. So there was some exposure aside from the mass media promotion for the film. Now the reviews were mixed on this movie and it made over 150 million dollars world wide so it was successful although Disney was disappointed since it cost almost 100 million to make.
Now I liked this movie. It did have a certain amount of camp to it but I thought it actually worked with the movie because it made it seem like a real life comic strip. Warren Beatty was decent in the title role but the real star of this movie was Al Pacino. I honestly think Pacino was just having fun with this role. He was so over the top that you can’t help but laugh. To be honest, the main reason I watch this movie is to watch Al Pacino and have a laugh because he is that funny. It is no surprise that he was nominated for an Oscar.
So if you would like to watch a live action comic strip, then you should watch this.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5