Capone is the latest film from filmmaker Josh Trank and follows notorious gangster Al Capone after his 11 year prison sentence as he suffers from dementia and neurosyphilis. Tom Hardy stars as Al Capone and the rest of the cast is also stacked with Linda Cardellini, Jack Lowden, Matt Dillon and more.
Josh Trank to me is an incredibly interesting young director. With Chronicle he took an overused found footage premised and did something fresh by mixing up the genre and using to convey character details subtly. Obviously Fant4stic didn’t go well but the studio interference really messed with his vision and doesn’t really reflect his ability as a filmmaker.
Like Chronicle, Capone takes a different direction to what you’d expect from a traditional gangster film. Instead of focusing on the crime plot Trank chooses to explore the psyche of an old gangster who’s beginning to lose it. Trank clearly wants to highlight themes similar to the final hour of Martin Scorsese’s masterful Irishman and I respect him for wanting to do something bold. Several scenes are incredibly outlandish.
However, Trank fails to manage tone in an effective manner and several scenes that are supposed to be emotional fall completely flat. There were some moments where you could tell the screenplay wants the moment to be tragic or emotional don’t work at all. I either felt nothing because the movie didn’t flesh out the characters or the scene came off as unintentionally funny. And because I felt nothing during the entirety of the runtime I was bored. Tons of crazy moments happen, especially towards the final act but I don’t think I ever felt what the film wanted me to and I found myselft constantly drifting off and wanting the film to end.
Even if the movie was bad I expected Tom Hardy to be good. While the rest of the cat is fine, Hardy puts in a career low performance here. There’s a purpose behind making him grunt and poop constantly but it comes off as really hard to watch and wastes Hardy’s obvious talent.
Overall, Capone has fascinating ideas but falls flat with its execution and ends up being one of the most disappointing films of 2020 with and awful lead performance.