The Wolf Of Wall Street Movie Review
Martin Scorsese’s THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is a cesspool of sinful debauchery involving sex, drugs and countless other illegal activities. The film recently got edited down under the wire and somehow fooled the NC-17 rating into an R. But Scorsese doesn’t completely celebrate the immoral life of corrupt stockbroker Jordan Belfort (portrayed by an insanely energized comedically talented Leonardo DiCaprio). Instead, he makes downright fun of the guy and his empty millions. With skillful direction and an out of this world performance, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is an incredibly bizarre and comedic success at the ugliness of misplaced values.
Based on the memoirs of Jordan Belfort, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET follows his character as he slimeballs his way up in becoming a successful manipulator and corrupt stockbroker. Regularly breaking the fourth wall, his character constantly proclaims to the audience about the logistics, “you don’t care about all that.” In actuality, I really do. Perhaps Jordan doesn’t even truly know the answer nor does he care as long as the green bills keep flowing in his direction. Or perhaps Belfort is so self involved and proud of his elaborate lifestyle that he thinks everyone is exactly like the people he surrounds himself with, which are other greedy guys that want to be exactly like him. Unfortunately, Belfort has to learn the hard way that not everyone cares about the money when the federal agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) is unimpressed by Belfort’s bribery ways.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to find an easy way to make millions, where I can spend it anyway I choose. But at what cost? Belfort has more money than he knows what to do with and he chooses to spend it on rare drugs, women and dwarf tossing. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is a true Sodom and Gomorrah story that inevitably ends in judgement and destruction. Usually I would find the situation sad as I always hate seeing a bad lost soul, but the film is able to keep things light and moving so the audience stays focused on themselves as they think, “I’m glad I’m not these guys.” My only fear is that some drunken college kids will see this and think the opposite.
Using his CASINO template, director Martin Scorsese is relentless with his camera as he matches the excess lifestyle with excessive visuals. He seems to relish in exposing this reckless behavior for the fools they are. Yes, clever rich fools, but fools nonetheless as THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is a full blown comedy. Belfort’s assembled team of guys are out of shape hapless losers who taste the rich world of success and squander their money aimlessly without a care for human beings. The images of these guys in their ill-fitting shirt and ties partying like college spring breakers is over-the-top funny. Especially Belfort’s right hand man Donnie Azoff played to spazzy perfection by Jonah Hill. The rest of the all-star cast is fantastic as well, notably Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin and Rob Reiner who all give comedic turns of their own. But the true star of this film is Leonardo DiCaprio who proves once again he can do anything by giving one of the best physical laugh-out-loud performances to ever grace the big screen.
While the substance is lacking and the runtime is stretched further than necessary, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is the year’s best comedy. When you add the Scorsese touch with the DiCaprio talent the quality instantly escalates as quickly as the film’s debauchery.