Dir. Josh Trank. 104 minutes.
Al Capone (Tom Hardy), once the kingpin of Chicago, is now retired. He spends his days hunched sullenly in his palatial Florida estate, severely disabled by a stroke and a decades-old syphilis infection. His mob associates, his family and the FBI all know that Capone has $10 million secreted away somewhere — but this money is also hidden from Capone himself, who can no longer remember where he put it.
“Capone” is not impressive, but it is quite watchable. Tom Hardy, who brought such subtle power to “Fury Road” and “The Revenant,” here plays Capone under a thick layer of makeup and with an abundance of weird, distracting mannerisms. In one particularly unfathomable scene, Capone rises and begins squawking out a song from “The Wizard of Oz.” With his latex-covered face and jabbering vocals, Hardy is closer to camp than sinister. Imagine an entire movie focusing on Sean Penn’s character from “Gangster Squad” and you’ll have some idea what to expect. At least it’s not boring.
Elevated by moody cinematography, “Capone” moves along at a good clip and is thankfully free of pretensions of Godfatherhood. It’s a drama about a bunch of people trying to wheedle a prematurely senile man out of his life’s savings — it might have been powerful, but instead it’s merely entertaining.