Having served a decade behind bars and with Fonse (Tom Hardy) no longer considered the “shame of the nation” he once was — see what a syphilis and dementia frappe where a brain once lived will do to a man? — the feds sentenced the now fruity capi di tutti to spend what would be the last year of his life in a Florida mansion where much of the film takes place. The conjectural framework has more holes than a Clark Street garage on Valentine’s Day. Difficult as it is to dramatize a character in the end-stages of farblunget, writer-director Josh Trank (Chronicle, Fantastic Four) relies on guilt-tinged fantasy sequences as tugboats. Hardy’s wet sandpaper blush and hollowed-out eye holes couldn’t have been more telling had the blackness been optically matted-in. But what’s a fellow actor to do when forced to share screen time with a colleague given little more than catatonia as a driving motivation? And what point is there, other than facile insurrection, in having Al Capone join the Cowardly Lion for a superimposed singalong? I kept hoping the lurking coppers would step in and drive the story in a direction other than hearty tight shots of Hardy’s gelid gaze. (2020) — Scott Marks
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