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‘Capone’ Is As Serious As You’re Willing to Take It

Midway through Capone, Josh Trank’s scabrous and eerie new film about the final year of the brutal gangster’s life, it falls to Kyle MacLachlan—playing Al Capone’s doctor, Karlock—to break it to Al’s grieving-in-advance family that Al, who of course smokes cigars constantly, really shouldn’t do that anymore. Capone, played by a recognizably unrecognizable Tom Hardy, has just suffered a stroke that triggered a 15-minute dream sequence, you see, and has been left partially paralyzed and further wracked by both dementia and neurosyphilis. “No cigars,” Karlock announces gravely in the aftermath, and the family receives this, not unreasonably, as a death sentence. “For how long?” asks Al’s brother Ralphie, incredulous. This is meant as a serious question, so I’ll provide a serious answer: forty-five minutes. For the remaining 45 minutes of Capone, Tom Hardy, playing Al Capone as a grumbling, doddering, various-bodily-fluid-spewing grotesque, staggers around with a carrot dangling out of his mouth.

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