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The Wolf of Wall Street

wolf-of-wall-street-poster2-610x903Martin Scorsese’s latest film The Wolf of Wall Street is basically three hours of sex and drugs and pure unadulterated greed. It is another “based on a true story” flick, only this one is all about one truly despicable guy and his equally morally deficient friends and family. Sure, the “wolf” is played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who does all he can to make the greedy jerk human, but at the end of the day, it is a relentlessly long slog through a lot of pretty unsexy sex fed by a veritable pharmacy full of Quaaludes, coke, and top shelf alcohol. It’s a pretty underdeveloped story of a bunch of late 20th century conmen who made a killing by lying though their teeth and their years of living the “high” life in every sense of the word.

Leo plays Jordan Belfort a naive young stockbroker whose first Wall Street job begins and ends the day the stock market crashed in 1987. But his luck takes a very fortunate turn when he discovers the world of penny stocks and starts selling worthless commodities to suckers while making enormous commissions. Soon Jordan decides to build his own little brokerage and populates it with his old drug-dealing friends from the neighborhood, and there he hires Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) who quickly becomes his best bud, druggie pal and ultimately his downfall. But as the millions pour in they live very large, spending lavishly on hookers and parties and yachts and sports cars and everything a boy wants. And it all goes very, very well until an FBI agent played by Kyle Chandler shows up and ruins everything! wolf-bfb4-4c11-ad2d-0f86dcc91bd1_twows-07859r

There are some very funny moments and the actors are all excellent, especially Matthew McConaughey who is only in the film for a minute or two. Scorsese certainly knows how to make a film visually stunning, but it is three hours long and feels it. There isn’t one person in the film who is not a scumbag, except for Kyle Chandler’s FBI agent. And the women are all just props. I get that the sex and drugs are all about showing us how excessive the guy and his friends were, but it gets old and goes nowhere. I don’t recommend this for the chicks, but it should appeal to sociopaths and greedy bastards. It’s rated R for good reason.

(WARNING: Do not take your mother and your nephew as I did, unless you really want to hear an 88-year-old woman spew the F word over and over afterwards. Funny, but really kind of wrong.)

1 Comments

  1. Hannah Buchdahl, December 30, 2013:

    Arty Chick and I (Mainstream Chick) are in total agreement on this one. Despite the draw of a solid performance from Leo and typically-reliable direction from Scorcese, the film simply has limited appeal… and while the movie is well-paced for a three-hour epic, it didn’t HAVE to be that long. Trim or cut an orgy and a drug scene here and there and -bam!- you’d be down to 2 1/2 hours without really losing the point… that greed is bad. Except when it’s good.

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