Straight cop Dick Tracy has his hands full tracking down the mob connection of Big Boy Caprice and his army of wise guys - but he also has to deal with the attentions of torch singer Breathless Mahoney, who threatens his relationship with his girl, Tess Trueheart.
Boasting astonishing visual pizzazz - courtesy of production designer Richard Sylbert and cinematographer Vittorio Storaro - every scene offers optical overload as Beatty's yellow-clad crimefighter walks through astonishingly realised gangster locales to battle mob boss Al Pacino. Virtually every frame looks like it came straight from a comic book, with Beatty's noble hero facing a Who's Who of villains.
Sure, the plotting is no great shakes, but there's enough to keep you going between showdowns with some of Hollywood's finest, and some pretty decent torch songs by Madonna's Jessica Rabbit-like Breathless Mahoney.
It's fun spotting stars under cakes of make-up and the panache, great supporting cast and good-natured, old-fashioned feel make for a better movie than you remember.