How Capone Director Josh Trank Feels About The Movie’s Negative Reviews

Tom Hardy as Al Capone in Capone
(Image credit: (Vertical Entertainment))

With Capone being Josh Trank’s first film since 2015’s huge bomb Fantastic Four, the writer/director is coming off a major disappointment. Trank cited studio meddling on one of Marvel’s all-time worst big-screen adaptations, but the filmmaker cannot blame anyone else for any ill words about his anti-gangster flick. Trank wrote the script, directed and edited Capone, and although it has suffered a lot of negative reviews, he’s still proud of the movie he made. In his words:

I don’t want to say I’m not surprised. It was hard to tell what the reactions were going to be, because from where I stand, I love the movie deeply. I love the movie so much, I’m so proud of it. There’s nothing anybody could tell me about this movie that would make me feel any less of the amount of love that I have for it.

Josh Trank is standing by his filmmaking decisions for Capone despite its “rotten” score of 42% by critics and 31% by audiences. No matter the overall response, the writer/director can actually call the movie completely his own this time around and for that he is proud.

He believes the words in the reviews reflect the movie he planned to make, with Tom Hardy’s Al Capone suffering a torturous final year of his life with syphilis and undergoing mental deterioration, making him reportedly on par with a 12-year-old. Trank explained his vision for the film to IndieWire:

We’re exploring the side of somebody’s life that is really uncomfortable. This is not a wish fulfillment gangster movie. There’s no glorification of bootlegging and gangster enterprising. This is a film that, in a very ugly way, is deconstructing an iconic masculinity from the moment the movie starts and until it ends. Is it hard to watch? I don’t know. It’s not hard for me to watch. … It’s either, you get it and you’re in for this ride and you’re a part of it and you also embrace the fun, crazy schlock factor of it, which is incredibly intentional, or you don’t and it bothers you and annoys you. And I’m fine with that.

As Josh Trank puts it, Capone is the kind of movie that “kicks you in the balls” with its discomfort – such as with a couple messy scenes involving the notorious gangster shitting in his pants… and more than once. Capone didn’t get a chance to hit theaters, but it did soar to No. 1 on the iTunes charts in its first week of release.

CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell reviewed the film positively with 3.5 out of 5 stars, giving Josh Trank praise for showing “real flair” in his filmmaking approach and giving a thumbs-up to Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Al Capone. Plus, Trank and Capone are already planning to work with each other for a limited TV show about the CIA.

Josh Trank’s breakout film Chronicle opened a ton of doors for the writer/director back in 2012. After the indie film impressed critics and made close to $130 million worldwide on a budget of just $12 million, Trank was attached to a Star Wars film, Venom and a video game adaptation. But he made Fantastic Four… and found himself in “movie jail” for the barrel low returns from the film.

After Fantastic Four, Trank finds himself drawn to making more independent films like Capone that challenge viewers. Capone is available to buy and rent on VOD. Check out CinemaBlend’s exclusive interview with Josh Trank on a recent episode of the ReelBlend podcast.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.