New movie alert! Although I’m wondering who may want to sit through the whole thing unless you’re a Tom Hardy fan or have some vague interest still in Josh Trank. If you don’t remember Trank, his last movie was a gigantic, fantastically misguided effort that many thought would be hard to come back from. Even its name was obnoxious (“Fan4stic”).
The best that could be said for his work on “Capone” is that it doesn’t bother replaying the birth-to-tax evasion route the mobster’s life took. Instead it centers on the last year of his life. Plagued by syphilis, dementia, and facing financial ruin, Capone (Hardy) has been deemed no longer a threat and allowed the freedom to live out his final days in his Florida mansion. He spends that time roaming around the estate, being cared for by his wife (Linda Cardellini), yelling at workmen trying to help the family sell off statues and other artwork to keep them solvent, and just generally being a paranoid, deformed, lost-in-a-daze individual who has gone from being the family breadwinner to the family drain.
It’s an actor’s showcase for Hardy, who plays the man without humility or anything approaching humanity. Capone has become a different kind of monster; one in a losing battle to still assert some kind of control over his day to day operations even though most of his day involves slurring his words, drooling, and shitting himself. Still, there’s an intensity behind Hardy’s eyes when he surveys the men working Capone’s estate or when he imitates the Cowardly Lion from “Wizard of Oz” that is undeniably indicative of a man fighting for his own dominance back.
The rest of the movie just never materializes into anything though. Trank brings up a bunch of different plot threads in the second half (the FBI on the trail of Capone’s missing cash, a long-lost son, hallucinations of Capone’s bloody Valentine’s Day massacre) but he doesn’t connect or have much to say about any of it. Not only that but by then Hardy has really only devolved into his worst tendencies as an actor: playing Capone like a violent, brain-dead zombie.
“Capone” wants to be about a man facing his own demons at the end of his life but rather just comes off as too messy for its own good. Watch the last 20 minutes of “The Irishman” instead.
Grade: C+ #CJ2020infilm