Director: Josh Trank
Writer: Josh Trank
Starring: Tom Hardy, Linda Cardellini, Jack Lowden, Noel Fisher, Kyle MacLachlan, Matt Dillon, and Al Sapienza
Plot: After he’s released from prison, Al Capone’s body and mind deteriorate in the last year of his life.
Review: Al Capone lived a very interesting life. He’s one of the most prolific gangsters of all time. He was alive for 48 years. Of those, I’m sure at least 40 of them would make a good movie. The final one, as his mind and body rotted away, probably isn’t one of those. Actually, I know it isn’t. Because I’ve seen Capone.
If I had to describe Capone in one word it would almost definitely be boring. I get that we’re supposed to compare what we’re seeing to the legends we’ve heard. It’s supposed to blow our mind that such a powerful, scary figure went out in such a pathetic, human way. And, in a way, that is kind of poetic. I get where Trank was coming from. However, it’s not enough to focus a whole movie on. Martin Scorsese just told this same kind of story with The Irishman and even he knew to show some restraint. I wasn’t huge on The Irishman, but I’d watch that three hour movie twice again before sitting through this once more. At least that had some pop to it.
I wish I could say that Tom Hardy somewhat redeemed the movie, but he didn’t really. 90% of this movie is just him sitting in a chair, mumbling incoherently. Seriously, go to Google images and that’s about all you’ll find. And, unfortunately, a lot of the moments that are supposed to be tragic could be played for laughs with just a slight tweak of the soundtrack. It’s such a delicate line to balance, but Hardy’s performance gets dangerously close to campy at times. It’s a shame too, because I bet Hardy could’ve played a really good Al Capone in a movie focused on the earlier portions of his life.
And then there’s the dream sequences… Man, those just did not work. In order to create some kind of excitement in the story, Josh Trank wrote in a couple of dream sequences. Actually, not even a couple. They were a pretty good portion of the runtime. I think they were supposed to be read as deep and thought provoking. It was Al Capone’s regret bubbling towards the surface in the last stages of his life. Again, I can see where the thought process came from. However, they are just vague, confusing and often laughable. It’s even worse when you know that our tour guide through these “nightmarish” visions is the Looney Tunes character that is Tom Hardy’s Al Capone. There wasn’t a single time where I felt any sort of emotion from them. I was mostly just perplexed. I’m down for a movie with far out imagery that’s packed with symbolism when it works. But this just felt forced and meaningless.
Capone isn’t awful, overall. It’s no Fan4stic. You can tell that Josh Trank had a vision for this movie. Something that he thought could work. It just… doesn’t. I think it comes down to the subject matter. This really isn’t as interesting of a topic as he seems to think it is
TL;DR: Capone is as dull as you’d think watching someone slowly die would be.
Score: 4/10 (Bad)