Title – Capone (2020)
Director – Josh Trank (Chronicle)
Cast – Tom Hardy, Linda Cardellini, Matt Dillon, Kyle MacLachlan, Jack Lowden
Plot – The last days of famous gangster Al Capone (Hardy) are explored as he battles debilitating health issues and dementia in his Florida mansion.
“We made a promise. Some day we were going to make it big”
Review by Eddie on 03/07/2020
If we’re being honest, its surprising that Josh Trank ever stepped behind the directors chair again after the much maligned and much-talked about Fantastic Four experience that has become somewhat of a Hollywood legend, with the upstart director’s on set behavior and final product seemingly extinguishing a career that at one time seemed destined for great things.
Five years on from the debacle of that high-profile affair, Trank has re-emerged with his low-budget and intimate Capone (previously known as Fonzo), a very different film to the one many would’ve thought we were getting as the director and his game leading man Tom Hardy choose to forgo a biopic of the famed gangster to instead focus on the last months of his life as his physical and mental health deteriorates upon his release from a long term prison sentence.
Set almost exclusively in the confines of Capone’s Florida mansion, as Capone struggles to maintain his sanity, his bowels and his memory of a fortune he buried somewhere before his incarceration, Capone is not even close to being anything like a gangster movie as we are taken on a wild and sometimes mind-meltingly odd journey into the deep recesses of a man haunted by his violent past.
It’s the last thing you’d expect from a previously spectacle orientated director and an all-in performer like Hardy, who delivers one of his more polarizing performances under the thick guise of makeup, as the cigar chomping crime boss remains front and centre throughout, often in nothing more than some PJ’s.
It’s hard to know whether Hardy’s performance is a masterclass of over acting and full-body inhabitation or an overblown miscalculation.
It’s undeniable that its the type of performance that is hard to turn away from, with some scenes like a golden tommy gun wielding rampage or a sing along to the Wizard of Oz images you won’t soon forget but it would’ve been great to have seen Hardy be able to play the character in a less debilitated state to really gage what we are getting from the esteemed performer.
Whatever the final verdict ends up being around Hardy’s turn, his a reason that the film keeps ticking along as Trank’s narrative structure doesn’t help the film along in most instances with a plethora of dangling plot points and ideas barely explored, with the overall sense of feeling this is a half-baked account of the later years of Capone’s life, with the film not particularly interested in going anywhere of significant note, even if its well-filmed happenings, memorable score by EL-P and oddly moving final moments showcase glimpses of the film at its best.
Final Say –
Not the be all and end all Capone film many would’ve been hoping for, Capone is a strange beast with an equally strange performance front and centre throughout, with those seeking a genuine gangster film with all the tropes associated with that better off giving Tranks comeback a very wide berth.
2 1/2 platypus’s out of 5