“After 10 years in prison, 47-year-old Al Capone starts to suffer from dementia and comes to be haunted by his violent past.”

Director: Josh Trank
Writer: Josh Trank
Staring: Tom Hardy, Linda Cardellini, Matt Dillon
Release Date: May 12, 2020

Capone (2020) goes hard. But to quote the great Bob Uecker portraying Harry Doyle; it’s “just a bit outside.” Tom Hardy takes on his most absurd role to date and creates a memorable portrayal of a man in speedy decline to rock bottom, but everything else about Capone is a pile of shit. And you see a lot of shit in this movie.

Did you ever thing you’d see Tom Hardy waddling around in a diaper with a load of shit weighing him down while shooting an AK-47?

I’ll wait for your answer.

Yea, Neither did I.

Capone is about the former mob boss in the middle of his physical and mental decline after a 10 year stint in prison for tax evasion. The majority of the film takes place in his home where he is taken care of by his wife by Mae (Linda Cardellini). Capone, who is often called Fonse in the movie, is nothing more than a very loud cucumber in the present, but when he has his mental lapses, things shift. Capone goes on journeys in his mind talking with old friends, experiencing past memories, and trying to grasp his old fearsomeness. It is a sad journey, made sadder by the execution.

The editing and pacing of Capone is nauseating. This movie was a big swing, and you need to connect on the barrel in order for a swing this big to be worth it. Capone whiffs, and it took its eyes off the ball. It was looking at the fences, but forgot that you need to have a steady stance, proper form and a game plan.

Director and writer Josh Trank has written Chronicle (2012), Fantastic Four (2015) and now Capone. Safe to say, Trank is going to be waiting a little while before getting his next movie. He is on a very, very cold streak, with both a potential blockbuster flopping and an award indie movie busting. He failed on both fronts where he put his nuts on the table.

Someone who isn’t afraid to put his nuts on the table? Tom Hardy.

His portrayal of Capone may be the ugliest human being I have ever seen. The makeup is not even that good, but it is still just a grotesque thing to look at. The constant sweating. The drooling. The constant cigar chewing. The lazy eye movements. All of it is incredibly off putting. That is a testament to Hardy’s talent. He was willing to go through this. He is by no means the worst part of this movie.

Hardy really enjoys putting himself in uncomfortable positions. One can also argue, this has been the recipe for his success and recognition. When he is just Tom Hardy, the cool, attractive heartthrob, his success rate is not as high as when his face is covered or when he is acting out a nearly mute character.

I first saw Hardy in Bronson (2008), where he is an animal of a character. He burst onto the global scene with Inception (2010), which was one of the roles he thrived in just as the sassy guy everyone loves. He then had a run of normal movies in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Warrior (2011), The Means War (2012) and Lawless (2012).

Personally, I did not love Tinker Toy Solider Spy (B-), Warrior (C+), and This Means War (D+). I have not seen Lawless.

Then we get his reemergence with The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and his best acting performance Locke (2013). A few years later he was the temperamental but important to the success of Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). Hardy returns to Christopher Nolan again and was surprising behind the mask in Dunkirk. (Yes, I have not seen The Revenant, I know that’s bad).

During all of this he is also the remarkably memorable Alfie Solomons in The Peaky Blinders.

Listen, we took a detour from Capone because it is not good. I did not care to take any digs at it, or any more attempts to analyze it. Capone doesn’t work, but I wanted to celebrate Hardy because he is not the reason for its demise.

Rather than Capone, there are plenty of other good Al Capone movies. For myself, the best is The Untouchables (1987). I know it is more of a story of Eliot Ness, but Robert De Niro’s baseball bat beatdown is to me heralded.

Skip Capone. That is my final advice here. This movie not worth the price of admission, even if it is free on streaming on Amazon Prime.

STANKO RATING: D (1.5/5 Stars)

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