The level to which Tom Hardy commits to the magnificent, off-the-wall Capone is most of the reason it works.
He hasn’t dug himself into a role this deep since Bronson, and it shows. This isn’t the Capone we’re used to seeing onscreen: the Tommy gun-wielding madcap wise guy of old.
Instead, we’re given post-prison Al Capone, who has suffered a stroke and is entering the final years of his life. As dementia and hallucinations begin to consume his mind, he falls further and further into madness.
I am thoroughly convinced that this film would not have worked with anyone else in the lead, and it’s the best Hardy’s been since The Revenant. Joined by Linda Cardellini in a surprising role as Capone’s wife Mae and the always-welcome Matt Dillon, the weirdness nozzle is notched up way past ten here.
The other person we have to thank for this gonzo, trippy film about a gangster after his prime years, is disgraced director Josh Trank.
Wholly praised for his debut Chronicle, he then was almost written off entirely for his big mouth with the media and his awful adaptation Fantastic Four. And yet, he returns with more gravitas than I could have imagined.
Capone is strange, brilliant, insane, and, most of all, it’s uncompromising, and Trank’s vision shines through completely. It’s not for the light of heart, but Hardy embodies Capone like no one ever has before him, and this is a film that demands attention.
Jordan Parker is a PR professional and journalist in Halifax, and these reviews appear first on his film blog Parker & the Picture Shows.