Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Wolf of Wallstreet: A Three Hour Obnoxious Ode to Wallstreet's Most Enterprising Criminals

The Wolf of Wall Street is about the life of Jordan Belmont [Leonardo DiCaprio] and his merry pack of thieves. A film set up with an all star cast, including Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey and that dude, Shane from the Walking Dead [glad you got work as Zombie Shane] and directed by the legend himself, Martin Scorsese [Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Hugo, Raging Bull, etc].

Down and Dirty [just how we like it]:

Let the Midget tossing commence!
This was so not a small 18O minutes, it felt more like 5 hours. Painfully drawn out. Even the Hobbit felt short in comparison. No, this is a monster of a movie about a man addicted to the high of money, booze, babes and blow. Get ready for a long winded story about the man behind Stratton Oakmont's dirty business and  the fall of an empire.

Get ready for a lot of scenes with snorting, drinking, screaming, screwing, partying, and madness at this hyper indulgent biopic of a Wall Street criminal.


Im still extorting money by enticing you to watch me screw you.
I have read the story of the Wolf of Wall Street years ago. A man who laundered and extorted billions of dollars through his company. But why? Because we let him. Say what you want about Jordan Belfort, but he was only extorting one of the most ugly emotions of human nature, greed. The story leaps from panel to panel of Jordan's life and the fat cash he has made, becoming King of the Mountain in a few short years. But like all people who roll the dice, his luck ran out in the end.

We would hope that a story like this ends poorly for such a vile example of an anti-hero [if we can even call Mr. Belfort that], but it honestly doesn't. Sure he loses the house, the wife, the kids, and the cash, but hes still kicking in the end. Because a true villain never seems to die, he always manages to recreate himself differently.

Overall the story was drawn out, with scenes that were funny, but took up way too much film time to be impactful and punchy the way the film seems to present itself. The FBI agent parts seemed considerably underwhelming until the end where they finally nail Belfort on camera. Hilarious.


Don't worry there is plenty where this came from...
Just a long collection of douche bags that have a taste of the high life and yell the F word every other word. I guess that is the language of Wall Street, but the film seems to present these men as heroes of the trading world. The person you want to idolize in getting rich and the powerful elite. They were untouchable and acted as such. Nothing was too much for these power houses as they steam rolled through each scene.

Leonardo DiCaprio has a flair for the rich prick. I have never seen him in The Great Gatsby, but I certainly have seen his role as Mr. Candy in Django Unchained and I saw a bit of that same rich prick charm in Jordan. The type of charm that contains a hint of smugness that makes you burn inside with anger.

Jonah Hill still plays a fat guy that sounds like a Jewish New Yorker. Jonah's Donny represents Danny Porush, one of Jordan's real life close friends. A man who quit his job to work for Jordan so he could be rich like him. Donny soon becomes Belfort's right hand man and confident as they roll through life in their limos and ferraris.

The rest of the cast is purely just side talk as the focus is all on Jordan and his ridiculousness.


This picture about sums it up....
I honestly didn't feel a lick of sympathy for these guys. The emotions in this film was rather upbeat, light hearted, and comically sarcastic for a film about an enterprising criminal. This could have been presented intentionally to show that Belfort was a total douche that deserved everything he got in the end. But it made me feel more like why am I watching some one prey on the poor? It wasn't easy for me to like his character at all, although his inner monologue was hilarious at times.

But I digress. The witty sarcasm presented in the movie was lost after a while to stupidity and arrogance. Jordan could have clearly bailed out when he knew he was in hot water, but like any addict, he had to roll the dice one last time. And he lost. I just don't believe he learned his lesson in the end. Unlike most people, he got stuck in a white collar prison for a few years, got out to write a book and continued making money as a motivational speaker bringing in tons of people. Think about that. A guy who cheated people millions, is still being paid by people to teach them to get rich. That's like paying a 7-11 thief how to get a job at 7-11.

So what lesson do we take from all of this? That everyone gets their due? That all good things must come to an end? That the rich always get a second chance? Its hard to tell with this Scorsese film. Regret is a word that least comes to mind when it comes to Jordan Belfort.


For the most part, there isn't much violence in this film until the very end when things unravel. There is a scene where Jordan hits his wife, twice. It didn't bother me as much [because was something different for a change. Hooray for fake spousal abuse!], but it made half the audience faint. So if you are sensitive to female violence, I would just...cover your eyes or make a trip to the bathroom after his second wife asks for a divorce. You aren't missing much.

What Grinds My Gears:

Me. Me. Me.
1. Talking to the Camera - We all know Jordan is telling this story, but its almost self-imposing and narcissistic to tell it yourself. It was probably intentional, but it jolted me out of the story a lot. I never liked the personal insertion of the narrator in any kind of film.

2. Jonah Hill - I'm not exactly sure how accurate Jonah's interpretation of Danny Porush was, but he was not my favorite character. He felt like the second hand henchman to a villain instead of his own dynamic entity Also why didn't this guy upgrade his glasses after being filthy rich? The guy still wore the same horrible glasses since the beginning. Are they afraid people wouldn't recognize Jonah at all without it? I mean..hes Jonah..the only fat guy on screen. How can we miss him?

3. Hrs of Indulgence for What? - What really bugged me was that story telling quickly took a back seat to a marathon of scenes featuring drugs, sex, and alcohol. To the point where it literally got boring to watch. This is the same problem Don Jon had. After every other scene being porn/sex or the talk of porn/sex it had me thinking, "All right already. I get it. He likes porn and sex. Skip please."

The gang...that nobody got to know.
4. Why were the other characters introduced? - There were 4 or 5 other people introduced in this story that made "appearances" but we didn't really know a damn thing about them. I thought at some point they would be fleshed out more, but they never did.

5. What happened to Matthew McConaughey? - I really want to know what happened to that guy. If he was such a great stock would figure he would have showed up at Stratton Oakmont at some point.

6. Backing up - Sometimes backing up was necessary and funny. Such as the scene where Jordan is so high, he thinks he drove his car safely back home when instead he wrecked the living shit out of it. However this backing up routine is used frequently and a bit unnecessarily for my tastes.

7. The language - I know this is New York and all, but gosh. Does every other word really need to be the "F" word?  I am not sensitive to curse words at all, but diversity people! Diversity!

Overall the Wolf of Wallstreet does have some charm to it from scene to scene. Unfortunately the story is so long it becomes hard to appreciate it toward the end. When you think it is doesn't for a good 4O minutes. Why this film got such a high rating initially is beyond me. I think they could have cut an extra 45 minutes and it would have been relatively the same story. Now if you excuse me, I got to go wash all the "F"'s off of me.

What did you think of the Wolf of Wallstreet? Tell me now by commenting below!

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DnD Rating: 6/1O

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