Martin Scorsese has found his new partner in crime with Leonardo DiCaprio. Over the last ten years, the two have begun a collaboration that rivals Scorsese’s friendship with his old right hand man, Robert De Niro. Scorsese has brought out the best in Leo and showed the world that the guy from Titanic is much more than just a pretty face. Marty really lets DiCaprio cut loose like never before as the money crazed and Quaalude popping Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street.
The Wolf of Wall Street is the wild and debaucherous tale of Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), a stock broker who rose from the ashes of Black Monday and became very successful through shady deals and the incompetence of people falling under his firm’s false promises of hope. DiCaprio plays the sleazy stock guru who inspires others to make loads of cash and party like rock stars in the process. The members of the brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmont, party like the 1990s Dallas Cowboys. The Wolf of Wall Street has the most cocaine, hookers, use of the “F” word and full frontal nudity seen on mainstream film since the turn of the century. No wonder Scorsese had trouble getting an R rating.
Unfortunately, all of this gratuitous action distracts from the overall film experience. Trust me, I love a pretty girl, like newcomer Margot Robie, prancing around in next to nothing, but after 3 hours I need some content. I wish Scorsese would have spent less time on Belfort’s Caligula like lifestyle and more on the shifty trading that made him rich. There are some funny moments involving Quaaludes, but the rich boy douchiness gets old after 179 minutes of running time.
The Wolf of Wall Street isn’t a bad movie. In fact, the performances are quite good. I just felt the film was missing something that prevented it from being great. Maybe it’s the fact that I have a hard time feeling sympathy for those who prey on the weak and squander their riches. Both DiCaprio and Jonah Hill turn in acting jobs that will likely earn them both Oscar nominations, but that is where it will end for them in awards season. The Wolf of Wall Street is more about the film that could have been. It seemed Scorsese was trying to cram as much sexual excess and drug use into the bloated 3 hour reel. Some advice for Mr. Scorsese: learn how to edit your films down to at least 130 minutes.
Overall I give The Wolf of Wall Street 2.5 out of 4 stars.
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