Written, Edited & Directed By: Josh Trank
Cinematography: Peter Deming
Cast: Tom Hardy, Linda Cardellini, Matt Dillon, Kyle Maclachlan, Al Sapienza, Katherine Narducci, Noel Fisher, Jack London, Neal Brennan, Tilda Del Toro
The 47-year old Al Capone, after 10 years in prison, starts suffering from dementia and comes to be haunted by his violent past.
There is a lot here to deal with. Most of the film and material comes off as a fever dream that hints at or points out places of interest. Though pretty soon the films succumb to the madness of the protagonist and soon becomes where you can’t tell memory from a flashback of reality or madness.
Tom hardy is clearly enjoying himself going fully overboard in a lived-in performance under tons of make-up and using active tics constantly. He sounds like a human cobra commander and the makeup seems realistic in that it is overdone think Johnny Depp in BLACK MASS where neither of them looks natural or all that human necessarily. Where he mostly makes noises and his character continuously poops on himself. To show degradation and how sick he is and the mighty have fallen but it happens so often. After a while, you feel like you could program a drinking game to it.
The film swings and attempts a kind of David Lynch vibe of the film where the strangeness and non-linear storytelling will be fascinating in Itself and it’s own art that the audience will find the beauty in all of this. Which works with a director who is used to or knows for telling stories in that way. Unfortunately, this one isn’t. Casting Kyle Maclachlan in the film only helps strengthen this theory.
As this is supposed to be writer/director Josh Trank’s comeback after the FANTASTIC FOUR movie bombing. One can understand why he went this route. As most of the films he made before were special effects spectacles and science fiction. Here he gets his hand to try drama and thriller of sorts. As well as a crime story based on real people.
This film just seems all over the place and might have been more interesting with some cohesiveness and an understanding as half the people in his house we are left wondering their relationships. A lot of stuff isn’t explained And it comes off as more random And not fun random.
As the audience might not know that much about al Capone and his past. So when bringing in various information, characters and showing them to have significance later in the film is purposeful but when we are introduced we don’t know of their importance and seem more random or built up to not mean as much when their character is more revealed.
This is a film that has a lot of symbolism but nothing really behind it as it offers no hints or notes. So it keeps building to ultimately nothing. It could have been tightened by the missing buried money plot, a treasure hunt if you will, making it stronger.
Even if it feels like a point of interest for the other strands of stories and characters to revolve around, it would also help as half the time making us wonder if this is all an act and he actually is mad or at first he is faking and then slowly he and we realize he is actually going crazy. As watching it now we know he is crazy but never knows what is real, fantasy, flashback.
Which doesn’t help when we see scenes of characters that have nothing to do with him mixed in. So we take those as real and then later male reveals where maybe they weren’t. The randomness includes Matt Dillon being introduced during a sex scene why? So the film will have some Sex In it? Then being called into Florida with his amour. We never see her again and as it is separate why are we seeing it when we eventually learn of his character and his eventual fate.
In the end, you can see what attracted the cast and why the director made the film Or at least his intentions, but it seems to have had the equivalent of shooting himself in the foot.
While also having the last hurrah on a sinking ship that only he thought might survive and prosper.