2020 has been one bizarre and odd year for entertainment and the film industry. COVID promptly halted any and all productions that were either in progress or due to begin principal photography. Bizarre is only but one of the words used to describe this film. The question can be posed did we really need this movie to be made in the first place? The concept is intriguing to wonder as there is a fascination for mobsters and crime lords to be seen. This However was not the right approach for this particular film.
After the abysmal film that is 2015’s Fantastic Four, the only direction one can go with the next project is up right? In most cases, yes. Working in the entertainment industry one needs pretty thick and bulletproof skin. This isn’t an industry for those who cannot handle criticism with grace especially with one of the most recognizable comic book IP’s out there with the Fantastic Four. You have to applaud director Josh Trank, the first half of that film is pretty good but some of the liberties he took just did not work for that film and the liberties he took with Capone missed the target as well.
“Twenty-eight years I had to wait for some peace and quiet. He don’t scare me.”
A lot of those in the comic book community attempt to forget that painful adaptation but should not forget his directorial debut Chronicle. That is a better film to judge Trank on his skill as a writer and director. Capone tells the story of the most famous mobsters to ever live, Alphonse “Al” Capone (Tom Hardy). This version of Capone that’s told is of his last living year in Palm Island Florida. After serving a prison sentence for tax evasion, the government released Capone due to him not being deemed a threat as his untreated neurosyphilis begins to warp his brain and rot the rest of his body.
And then, there is his family that surrounds him in his final year. His wife Mae Capone (Linda Cardellini) is the only other significant character in this film. None of the supporting cast is given any development or depth to make us care about them. They are just taking up space and screen time when that valuable screen time could have been put to better use. We see that Capone has a bastard son but why should we care about him? Because he’s Capone’s son. It doesn’t feel authentic when his character keeps calling – nor is their any weight to his dialogue.
Trank writes this story assuming everyone that watches this is an Al Capone expert. Few people are, but the majority of the casual movie goer isn’t. A lot of the dialogue falls flat and doesn’t land the way Trank hoped it would. The only salvageable parts about this film are the main lead performances. Tom goes full method with his voice of Capone sounding sluggish but barely audible. Hopefully unlike some method actors (Jared Leto in Suicide Squad – sending dead rats to co-stars) Hardy isn’t bootlegging alcohol or inciting violence. He pushes himself to bring the best out of this performance.
“Sweetie, listen. I can see it on your face, and I can see it in your eyes, that you are an angel. I can see that you got broken wings. Yeah. Now, I would very much like to fix those broken wings for you, if I could. But I don’t know who the f**** you are. And I don’t even need to know who the f**** you are to know you’re letting it happen.”
Linda Cardellini has astonishing patience to put up with a deteriorating husband who doesn’t give her the credit where it’s due. Does she wait on him hand and foot because she loves him or because she pity’s him and is only with him for that $10 million that is “buried”. Are we supposed to feel any kind of sympathy toward Capone for his mental state? What is the draw for us to watch this man piss, drool, and s*** himself for 2 straight hours? There’s no antagonist unless you count his mind as the one salvation he’s trying to conquer.
There is no real plot that gets defined – the separate acts of the film just blend together and the main selling point of this film (hidden $10 million somewhere) never gets solved. In fact, there is maybe 5 to 10 lines of dialogue that mention this buried fortune. It’s difficult to tell where a flashback starts and where it begins or that he’s even having one. If the goal were to create a movie that has its main character and moviegoer (avid and casual) be mind f***ed the entire time than Trank succeeded.
The makeup is also something that seemed to fall by the wayside. At times it’s evident the different skin tones and hair cap Tom is wearing are unnatural. The last thing that should get touched upon is the pacing and run time. This run time doesn’t feel like a 2 hour movie. It feels longer than The Irishman and that film is borderline 4 hours long. Certain scene’s are stayed with for too long taking you out of the film and losing the tiny bit of momentum the film had when it starts.
Overall, Capone is in short a disappointment. The trailers make this film feel entirely different than what plays out on screen. Josh Trank had a specific vision and feel he was going for – its noticeable with the performances he gets out of the main actor and actress, unfortunately, it was executed poorly. If I were to rate Capone, I’d rate it a 1 out of 5.
So, tell me guys, have you seen Capone and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.
Capone is written and directed by Josh Trank is Rated R and has a 41% on Rotten Tomatoes. Capone was released on May 12th, 2020 and has a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. Capone can be bought by online retailers such as Itunes, Google, Amazon and Vudu.
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