Time for a review of a modern day take on the old timey gangster movie 3.5 readers, see?
I don’t know what to make of this movie, other than, who the hell wanted this?
Al Capone, the man who basically invented American organized crime, has been featured in films and TV shows for decades, so much so that there probably wasn’t much of a chorus of voices calling for another Capone story.
But not having much else to do, I gave it a shot. The premise is that it takes place during the last year of Capone’s life. He’s 48 and in bad shape. Though late forties isn’t normally the time when the average man turns into a doddering codger (at least by modern standards), Al is in poor health. He suffers from syphilis of the brain, which has lead to strokes, which has led to declining mental health.
By the start of the film, Al has been released from his ten year stint in prison for tax evasion. He has run off to his estate in Florida with his wife and family, and is constantly annoyed by the presence of workmen who are packing up his precious statues so they can be sold, the family apparently in need of the dough.
Overall, the movie is a vehicle for Tom Hardy to flex his acting chops. Hardy is able, through facial contortions, make-up, prosthetics and voices. He becomes almost like a living breathing cartoon version of a gangster brought to life here.
But other than that, there isn’t much to the movie and honestly, it was a chore to watch it. I checked my clock regularly, just praying for the damn thing to end.
Plot wise? There isn’t a lot to it. There are occasional mentions of Al having stashed $10 million away, and sometimes various characters try to break past Al’s scrambled mind to find out where he has hidden the loot. An old henchman played by Matt Dillon wants to find it, on the auspices that he’d like to help Al seeing as how Al and his family are in need of money, yet said henchman doesn’t exactly come across as the type of person you’d want to trust with your loot.
There’s also a doctor who is being pushed by G-Men into trying to get the info out of Al, though what the Feds have on the doc is never explained.
That’s the movie in a nutshell. Threads are pulled but never sewn back together in the end. The side plot about hidden money might have been interesting if it was ever explained one way or another where it is, or if it isn’t anywhere, then why.
There’s also a side plot that Al has an estranged, secret son who wants to reconnect with his father, though why the son is estranged we never know.
The climax of the film features a demented Al stalking the grounds of his Florida estate in his bathrobe and diaper, using his tommy gun to pump rounds into the workmen who have so vexed him. You wait for the G-men who have been watching him to swoop in and arrest him but, spoiler, even that is a red herring as we learn that was just one of Al’s fever dreams.
Ultimately, there’s a lot of coughing, choking, and shit. So much shit. Al shits the bed. He shits his pants. He is forced to wear adult diapers and shits those too. I mean, though Capone is often portrayed as a Robin Hoodish folk hero, he was a gangster who killed and stole and committed atrocities for personal profit, so yeah, who gives a shit if he is left to spend his last year sitting in his own poop but holy crap…did I need to see it?
I mean, seriously, was there a great public outcry for a movie about Capone pooping in his bed? I think not.
It is hard to watch because, setting aside that the character is Capone, it is sad, in general, how health problems can destroy the body and mind. It just isn’t something I want to see.
STATUS: Not shelf-worthy. Hardy is skilled and talented, but I think there was a better vehicle for him.