I’ll start by saying Capone is a hard movie to watch. Starting with the obvious, Tom Hardy’s make-up is terrible and distracting. It should be seamless, but instead, you can see where the real Hardy ends and the Capone headpiece begins. It starts to look better toward the end as Capone transforms into Darth Sidious, but that make-up job is always on your mind.
In terms of Hardy’s performance, I’m not a massive fan of that either. As Capone, his voice is deep and scratchy and hard to understand at times. Also, as he starts to lose himself, his dialogue is cryptic, and during dream sequences, he hardly says anything. It just doesn’t feel like he’s embodying Capone at all, and you can and should expect more from Tom Hardy.
“Am I watching a real depiction of dementia? I really don’t know.”
The overall story is a tough sell, as well. If Capone is meant to bring sympathy and awareness to those who have dementia, Al Capone is not the subject you want to use. Am I watching a real depiction of dementia? I really don’t know. Considering that this is Al Capone, he sort of deserves the fate handed to him. After a while, it’s just hard to get behind Capone’s condition as his mind spirals.
On the plus side, there’s so much good acting in this film, but it just seems easy for them. Linda Cardellini is as reliable as ever to bring excellent performance. She loves him, and she hates him for the position they find themselves financially. Kyle MacLachlan is perfect as the shrink firmly pressed under the thumb of the feds to do their bidding. Matt Dillon also has a cameo as Johnny, a man from Capone’s past that reminds you a lot of Matt Dillon.
In any biographical drama, the key is to make audiences believe this is the real person from history. Capone just never gets there. That could be Al Capone, but nothing in the film makes me believe it’s him, nor does it emotionally connect me to him. Capone wastes a lot of good talent, and it’s a shame.
Capone is released through Vertical Entertainment and available now on VOD.