Capone | Josh Trank | May 12, 2020

With Capone, director Josh Trank tries to reclaim some of that goodwill he acquired with the 2012 surprise hit Chronicle. The debut feature put him on the map and we all thought that he would finally be the one to give us a Fantastic Four movie worth remembering.

As we now know, that was not the case. But there were many claims that it was the 20th Century Fox’s interference that was responsible for Fantastic Four’s catastrophic result and surely Trank hoped that Capone would be his way to prove that he is the real deal and that Chronicle was not a one-off fluke. Considering that he got Tom Hardy to star as Al Capone, the road to comeback seemed to be a real possibility.

Which makes it sad to report that Capone is another disappointing effort from Trank that features the worst performance of Hardy’s career – and this is considering that we have seen Venom.

Written and edited by Trank, Capone is a big bag of nothing. This isn’t your standard biopic about the notorious life of crime and the tragic fall. Instead, it focuses on the last bit of pitiful existence in Capone’s life at the age of 47-years-old. He’s released from prison in his Florida estate where he suffers from dementia and other disturbing results of syphilis.

Trank and Hardy put it all on display. You see this hobbled beaten-down version of Capone shit himself, drool and just live out his remaining days in a painful and disturbing fashion. There isn’t so much a plot here as we just get to watch this man suffer as his mind slowly deteriorates around him.

You can see what they are going for with the use of dream sequences (more like nightmares) but they rely on this technique too much to the point where they are leaning on it for the lack of a more compelling story. He suffers, his family suffers and the FBI is trying to figure out if he really has $10 million hidden somewhere. That’s it, that’s the meat of the story.

Capone moves along at a languid pace that intends to make the audience embody what this all must feel like from his perspective. The issue is, Capone is hardly a sympathetic character and you don’t feel any emotional connection with him as a result. This, along with a cartoonish performance from Hardy and a dry conflict-free script, adds up to a viewing experience that is anything but compelling.

Sadly, a rather solid ensemble cast is wasted here. Linda Cardellini isn’t given any meat to chew on as his suffering wife, Mae. There’s supporting work from the likes of Matt Dillon, Noel Fisher, Jack Lowden, and Kyle MacLachlan and they all do fine work but none are given anything memorable to stand out. The star of the film may be the score from rapper El-P (of Run The Jewels) who gives it all a sinister flourish that may be the only aspect of it worth revisiting (strictly in a separate audio form).

I felt absolutely nothing watching Capone, a numb viewing experience that left me frustrated for everyone involved. A wild and colorful personality like Al Capone deserved a much more compelling story that gripped us, rather than sticking one foot directly into the grave.

Review: 4.0/10


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