Al Capone (Tom Hardy) has just finished serving a ten-year prison sentence for his crimes. Released from prison, he returns home to his wife and family. Capone is now 47 years old and the police are keeping an eye on his activities for the remainder of his days. But upon returning home, Al Capone begins to have several health issues including dementia and begins to suffer from haunting visions of violence from his horrific past. Capone as a film shows the last year of Al Capone’s life and him dealing with his many health challenges, as well as showing us some of the visions that haunt him. The police, who are keeping a close eye on him, feel that Capone has stashed a large sum of money somewhere and they want to discover its location before he passes away. The police also suspect that Al Capone could be faking his sickness.
If you’re expecting a large biopic about one of the biggest criminals in history, you might be a little surprised and perhaps even disturbed by some of the events of this film. Capone is quite a dramatic film, and it’s a sad story following a man who is now at his weakest point in life. As expected, the performance by Tom Hardy is fantastic. I am a massive fan of Tom Hardy and once again he delivers a performance unlike anything else we’ve seen in cinema. The actor himself is almost unrecognizable and has changed the accent of his voice, his body language, has disgusting bloodshot eyes, and many other changes.
Capone was directed by Josh Trank who serves both as the film’s director and writer. Previously Josh Trank directed films including Chronicle (2012) & Fantastic Four (2015). But this time the director is challenging himself and has created a much darker film compared to his previous work. Capone’s many visions and dreamlike sequences show us Capone reliving moments from his past. The style of transition between present and past is pleasing, and the filming style that has been captured is positive and dark. Some moments that Capone relives are borderline horror in style.
While it’s genuinely pleasing to see Tom Hardy deliver another reliable performance and visually this film was pleasing there was one question I kept asking myself while watching this film. What’s the point of Al Capone’s journey? In the end, as credits rolled down my screen, I thought the plot felt extremely shallow and empty. There are also subplots which are introduced but did not feel as though they were fully resolved. Some elements of Capone’s visions can be questionable and slightly distracting. Instead of focusing on the film, I found myself wondering how this world of Capone worked and at times, it just didn’t make sense, even when performances and visuals are top shelf to see.
Overall, Tom Hardy returns to the big screen to deliver another dominant performance. It’s genuinely pleasing to see the actor become almost unrecognizable as one of the biggest criminals, Al Capone. As a film, this is quite a dark tale of Capone’s last year of living, and it’s filled with stunning visuals as the man himself begins to relive horrific visions. While many elements are pleasing, I am saddened to say the plot was indeed a mixed bag for me as it feels somewhat hollow without any real purpose or meaning.
Capone (2020) is Available on Bluray & DVD from August 26th
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Review Written by Peter Walkden