Capone aka “Fonzo” (2020) Review

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A movie that seems to be only a part of a longer story that we should have gotten. Josh Trank makes his comeback from the disaster that was Fantastic 4 with this movie about none other than the notorious gangster Al Capone. Well the part of him that was older and lacking of a stable mental state. Capone is a movie that I have been looking forward to for a long time, not just because the casting of Tom Hardy as Al Capone is perfect, but also because I’m a big fan of Trank. I loved his work on Chronicle and I loved the first half of Fantastic 4, a movie that I feel he got done dirty with. Capone wasn’t exactly what I was expecting from him as his next film, but it seems to be a bit of a passion project being that he wrote, edited, and directed the film. Either way, I was very excited to see this so you could say my expectations were a bit high going into it.

It’s hard to actually describe the plot of this film since there really isn’t a whole lot going on, but at the same time there is but not in a deep plot sort of way. This movie is about how Al Capone is dealing with his deteriorating mind and how he’s struggling with grasping reality while having visions of things that may or may not be happening. The only real plot point that is recurring is that apparently Capone has ten million dollars hidden somewhere and everyone is trying to figure out where the money is, but of course his mind is so messed up at this point that he can’t remember where it is.

The problem with this movie is that it feels as if it was just a moment of something that we should have gotten much more of. This movie could have been shortened down to forty minutes and been a third of a whole movie about Al Capone from his prime to his fall and death. It’s unfortunate because Tom Hardy as Capone is really good, but we never get to see him give it his all as the gangster in what could have been an amazing epic with an impressive character progression.

Hardy of course is the real highlight of the film as the title character, but it’s hard to say whether his acting is actually good or if it’s just fortunate that he doesn’t have to do much. I’m not sure if I’m impressed by his performance or just blinded by the fact that it’s Hardy in the role. What I mean is that this might be the more mumbling role that he’s ever had even more so than Mad Max. He mumbles his way through the movie with mostly grunts and a few one word answers with some Italian sprinkled over.

This brings me to thinking about how it is impressive to see what he can do with his crazy look that he has or just in general his movements and facial expressions. I give him props for that, but dislike the fact that we don’t get much from him and actual dialogue. This all of course comes full circle back to how I feel about this movie as a whole. It feels as if it is but a mere moment in Capone’s life which of course is the point of this movie, but in the end it just doesn’t work as well as it probably sounds on paper.

If Trank had pitched me this idea on paper than I would have been on board because it sounds like a fascinating exploration of who Capone was in his final year, but the execution exploits the problem with the concept. I don’t think this falls on Trank and his directing because I think overall he did very well with what he had, and it isn’t even the writing which he also did. The problem is just that this concept sounds interesting, but looks like it would only work as being a portion of a much longer movie that explores the complete life of the gangster.

Last year we had The Irishman, and while I did enjoy the film, it wasn’t everything that I wanted it to be. Trank hit a wall with this movie where he seemed to push hard at what he wrote and the story he was trying to tell, but couldn’t go much further than that because the story just wasn’t there. This movie is more disappointing than anything else and not because it’s a bad movie. I don’t think this is a bad movie at all and I think Trank is definitely back on track of getting back on that directing horse, but it seems that because I could see the potential Trank had with his directing and Hardy as the lead, it left me overall disappointed because it could have been so much more.

This is going to go down as being an average film that I likely will only remember because of how much I like Trank as a director, but most of all it’s going to go down in my book as a movie that could have been something really special, but it wasn’t. I wish I could talk to Trank and actually ask him whether it was ever a possibility to make this a longer film that explores Capone’s whole life story. It could also have been that he was aiming to bring his name back to the industry with a movie that would make a statement and get him back in the light for studios which I think he successfully does. I can’t knock him for what he did given his circumstances and likely the constraints of what he could actually do, but I just really wanted more.

Overall this is a movie that I think everyone should give a chance just to see how you feel about it and to see if maybe I’m just crazy and this movie is just bad. It’s a movie that I would love to talk about whether it be the actual movie or the potential of what it could have been, but at the same time it’s not a movie that I will say is any better than average. If you don’t like gangster movies then you probably won’t like this, I guess, maybe you will if you like dramas? I’m not entirely sure.

If you have seen Fonzo, sorry Capone, then comment below or email us at TowerCityMedia@gmail.com and follow us @TowerCityMedia also, I just want to say that this movie should have kept the title “Fonzo” I just like it more…

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