Shot in New Orleans two years ago, director Josh Trank's Capone does not prove to be worth the wait.
Trank avoids the common biopic pitfall of trying to cover every moment of a famous person's life. Here, he focuses on the final year of gangster Al Capone's (Tom Hardy) life. After being imprisoned for income tax evasion, he suffered such physical and mental deterioration from neurosyphilis that he received a compassionate release from jail. In a Florida estate with his wife (Linda Cardellini), family, and henchmen, he is monitored by the feds and suffering from multiple hallucinations.
There's talk of $10 million that Capone hid away, but otherwise, there's very little plot here. It's a meandering, aimless film. Hardy is heavily made up and commits to speaking in a high-pitched, ultra-raspy voice for Capone, but there's no depth to his character. The audience is left to draw on what they've read of Capone (or seen of him in movies like The Untouchables), rather than anything in the script.
Another problem is one that befell the final act of Martin Scorsese's The Irishman. Capone, like Robert DeNiro's Frank Sheeran in The Irishman, is a decidedly unsympathetic character. He's a mass murderer and a brute. So, it's hard to feel much of anything for him in his dying days. Capone ends up being 103 minutes of watching a horrible person suffer a horrible fate. None of the hallucinations are trippy enough to linger in the mind for purely visual reasons, either.
Capone is now streaming.** Stars (Out of Four)