Director Josh Trank tells the final years of Al Capone’s life are revealed in Capone from Vertical Entertainment. Opening with text narration explaining how Al Capone (Tom Hardy) finally ended up in prison due to tax evasion. We find Capone now aged 40 and being released after a decade. Due to untreated syphilis and no longer seen as a threat, the government decides to allow him back into society while secretly watching him.
Deciding to retire in Florida, we find that time wasn’t kind to Capone as he has to sell his belongings to pay off debts and support his family. Capone swears that he hid ten million dollars before going to prison, but can’t remember where he hid it. He also has to contend with scrupulous friends and former enemies who are all out to get his money.
When I first heard about Capone, I was expecting a traditional gangster flick. Still, instead the director decides to give us a character study. Sadly Josh Trank fails on nearly every level outside of the transformative performance by Tom Hardy.
Let’s start with the good, and that is Tom Hardy as Al Capone. The British thespian disappears into the role of the man who was once known as “Public Enemy #1”. Known for his strict guy persona roles, Hardy portrays Capone as a man who is nearing the end of his life and can’t accept his pending doom.
The makeup department does a great job with Hardy’s makeup, and the actor becomes lost in the role. I also appreciated Hardy’s use of dialogue and his ability to deliver Capone’s line with a natural flair. Sadly outside of Hardy, no one else in the cast is worth mentioning.
There are also issues with the pacing that director Josh Trank uses, and the film as a whole may come off as confusing to some viewers. Perhaps Trank and Hardy should’ve gone the route of a one-man stage show instead of a straight forward film. Trank is a talented director, but Capone just doesn’t hit the bullseye. Recommended for fans of Hardy only.
Final Grade D-