The final year of Scarface is Untouchable.
I know a mechanic, who makes delicious meals and gives my family the best treatments at the Jay Peak Resort in Jay Peak, Vermont. I consider him the Al Capone of Jay Peak. Why Al Capone? Because he had a soup kitchen during the Great Depression, and even for his crimes, he managed to bribe the prison guards for items, and basically got the VIP treatment in Alcatraz. That’s why I call my mechanic the Al Capone of Jay Peak.
After Rod Steiger, Robert De Niro, and many other actors to have portrayed the bootlegger, we’ve now got Tom Hardy in “Capone,” which shows us the last year of his life and his syphilis affecting his mind. He often sees a little boy with a gold balloon, and I’m asking if the filmmakers were trying their own Pennywise. And when he’s often called Fonz (short for Alphonse), you’re expecting him to say “ayyy.” But what I’m really asking is how on Earth did this movie not get scrapped?
It’s a depressing, soggy, stinky and repugnant biopic that never interests you, humiliates the real-life gangster, and doesn’t deserve to be a history lesson. We’re in trouble right in one of the opening sequences when we see Capone defecate in his bed, and his wife (Linda Cardelinni) is repulsed as she struggles to get him cleaned up.
But the film’s most sickening scene is when one of his henchmen, Gino (Gino Cafarelli) brutally and countlessly stabs a guy in the throat. The way its handled is cheesy, and the way it’s shown is unwatchable. And there’s also a shabby dream sequence where his right hand man (Matt Dillion) cuts out his eyeballs and leaves them on Capone’s bed.
Now, there have been iconic violent images in gangster classics like “The Godfather: Parts 1 & 2,” “Goodfellas,” “The Cotton Club,” “Scarface” from 1983, and “Casino,” but they all were beautifully photographed and acted on the notion that they truly were crime epics. These two scenes are complete losers in the analogy of dumpster diving.
The story takes us in Palm Island, Florida, but really, it was filmed in New Orleans. I would love to visit there someday, and the locations are more radiant than the actual movie itself. But they have to stink when Capone craps his pants again, this time during a meeting with the FBI.
Hardy can give profound performances in such films as “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Drop,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and “Dunkirk,” but he didn’t convince me he was Al Capone. In fact, at times, he looks like a fat Johnny Depp playing James “Whitey” Bulger. In fact, Depp did a great job playing Bulger in “Black Mass.” But that’s beside the point. The point is Hardy looks like a complete wreck, and he acts like a has-been.
This disaster was directed by Josh Trank, whose directorial debut was the emotional and riveting “Chronicle,” but somehow lost his way badly. His next feature was the 2015 reboot of “Fantastic 4,” which made my list of the worst films of that year; and now, we have “Capone” to deal with. I’m telling you-I’m warning you-Trank better get his head back in the game, and Hardy better not be heading down a path, coming on the heels of his previous bomb “Venom.”
Whatever these two are dealing with, they better figure out their problems fast.
Half a Star.
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