STARRING: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Cristin Milioti, Kyle Chandler, Jean Dujardin and Matthew McConaughey
Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.
The Wolf of Wall Street primarily takes us through the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort, from how Jordan started off in Wall Street at 22 years old, where he meets Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey), who sets the tone and motto for the film which Jordan takes on board….and then some.
What takes place then is greed, sex, drugs, more greed and more….you get the picture. We see after the events of Black Monday to Belfort’s rise in creating Stratton Oakmont, Inc. of how Jordan views the world and the people in it and for those that believe this film is glamourising the lifestyle of Belfort’s and making him an inspiration for people that want to live like that, clearly didn’t watch the same film that I did. Sure the news reports of brokers cheering during the film but plain and simple Belfort was a dick and a spectacular dick at that. The film doesn’t sugarcoat it or tone down his antics, if anything for some the antics will get tiresome (oh look more drugs, more sex….repeat cycle) but this is entirely a film from Belfort’s point-of-view and pretty much just lays it out and goes ‘this is what happened’. The question becomes can you enjoy a film where the main character is such a detestable figurehead and sit for three hours enduring it? Answer for me is yes.
For a Scorsese film I haven’t laughed as much through one of his films in years and couldn’t help but laugh at some of the films ridiculous moments (McConaughey cameo to the quaaludes called Lemmon 714 and it’s effects). Leonardo DiCaprio has a field day playing Jordan Belfort and unfortunately we might again go another year with Leo not lifting an Oscar, not only do we know how well his acting chops are but get a glimpse of his physical acting chops as well in the Lemmon 714 scene when the effects of it kick in. Jonah Hill gets the lines though to get the most laughs (and them damn teeth) but can’t take his Oscar nomination seriously as for me is character is just an idiot throughout, even though he does it well, I wouldn’t consider it to be nomination worthy. Margot Robbie has come along way from her Neighbors days and is unbelievably beautiful AND is great in her role and holds her own on screen with Leonardo DiCaprio in her first major role on the big screen (I believe it is her first major on screen role).
In the other roles, Kyle Chandler does well as the FBI Agent Patrick Denham that is out to take down Belfort and his character could’ve done with more screen time as bar the exception of the pivotal scene with Belfort on the yacht, he is mostly a in the shadows character to then show up towards the end and go ‘gotcha’, which is a shame as Kyle Chandler is a terrific actor. Also a odd but nice welcome sight to see Jean Dujardin in the film and does a good job, the Belfort crew are played well too by Jon Bernthal, PJ Byrne, Kenneth Choi, Brian Sacca and Henry Zebrowski. Actually the oddest sight was seeing Joanna Lumley in the film.
Some of the shots in the film will take some people back to nods of previous Scorsese films such as Goodfellas, but here it seems like Scorsese had a blast doing the film (so much so that he was annoyed that he had to cut the film down an hour…yes, it was originally set at 4 hours).
For some this film won’t be enjoyable as the main character (alway alot of the characters) are such detestable human beings and it doesn’t focus on the victims and the antics may become repetitive and take the enjoyment away from the film. Personally I laughed and cringed at the antics, the performances all round are terrific and this is definitely one of the funniest Scorsese films in a long time. Now get ready to be annoyed by the amount of people that will attempt to do the ‘money chant’ in public. 9/10