“The Wolf of Wall Street” makes no bones about its depiction of indulgence and excess run-a-muck.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill are excellent even if Scorsese is long-winded. Hello moviegoers, DiCaprio raises the stakes as single-minded Jordan Belfort, a young determined stockbroker who’s intent on realizing his world view in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ which is based on the life of Wall Street stockbroker Jordan Belfort.
‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (3 ½ sweet potatoes out of four) Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Kyle Chandler; Director: Martin Scorsese; Genre: Comedy, Drama, Biographical; Rated R; Runtime: 180 minutes; Open Wednesday, December 25th.
Jordan’s (DiCaprio) first day on the job nets him lunch with his boss Mark Hanna because he pitched a stock in his job interview. Hana is played by (Matthew McConaughey); he is narcissistic and self-assured and McConaughey owns this role.
Hana quickly gets Jordan up to speed on playing the game with methods for dealing with and relieving stress which involves liberal amounts of cocaine and self-gratification, as ways to help one keep their eye on the prize. And the prize is money lots and lots of money.
Then Monday, October 19th 1987 happens or as it is better known, Black Monday. The stock market crash leaves Jordan having to reinvent himself and he does this by passing off penny stocks on common folk as the next big thing.
Jordan meets Donnie Azoff who evolves in the care of (Jonah Hill), while having lunch where Donnie works. Donnie is so impressed by a $72,000.00 pay stub Jordan shows him that he quits his job to work for Jordan. The two will recruit their own band of misfits and with Jordan’s teaching ability, their ascension will be meteoric.
His ascension gets him labeled the Wolf of Wall Street by Forbes magazine. Jordan thinks the article is a misleading hit job, but hundreds of young professionals think he’s the guy they want to work for.
Jordan’s rise to fame also gets him on the radar of the Feds and the SEC for corruption. In an attempt at bribery Jordan invites Federal Agent Patrick Denham played by (Kyle Chandler) aboard his yacht to chat in a scene that is the kind of funny that’s right out of Scorsese’s playbook.
Things start to deteriorate for Jordan from that point on; his continued decent into drug addiction with Quaaludes now his drug of vice and his sexual proclivities aid in ruining his marriage. Also, with the authorities onto him he gets caught up in schemes to get his money into Swiss accounts.
Jordan would eventually end up cutting a deal with the Feds for a reduced prison sentence, if you want to call it prison. As Jordan says, ‘for a brief moment I forgot I was rich’.
This one is not a character study. It is skin deep in more ways than one. DiCaprio is verbose as Belfort and provides supporting voiceover throughout the movie which plays more like a soundtrack. The movie is unapologetic, funny, raunchy and long but never loses quality. It is also very good. I give ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ 3 ½ sweet potatoes out of four.
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