Review - The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), R, 180 minutes - Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio.  As far as I'm concerned, that's all you needed to tell me to get me into the theater to see The Wolf of Wall Street, negative reviews be damned.  Their track record together says it all: Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island.  You better believe I'd give them the benefit of the doubt.

DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, and we watch his meteoric rise to billionaire status thanks to some grooming from Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey), a lot of smarts, and a fair share of questionable (morally and legally speaking) business tactics.  He's joined on his journey by Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) who quits his job and offers to work for Belfort when he is shown a pay stub for a single month that clears seventy grand.  Belfort collects a handful of other friends that have the drive to make big money and behind his brains they launch their own firm.  Success goes hand in hand with drugs, booze, all other sorts of debauchery and illegal practices, and eventually lands them on the FBI's watch list.  Agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) slowly gathers intel and has grand notions of his own of taking down one of the world's wealthiest men.

The Wolf of Wall Street is a movie about excess in excess.  Who knows if it was an effort at giving the film a meta twist or just a very casual stroll through the story, but at 180 minutes, The Wolf of Wall Street is long.  Too long in my opinion.  However, that's not to say that it's a bad film.  It is very entertaining and has its share of humorous moments.   But it isn't quite what one would expect from the trailer.  Yes, the gist of the story line is there, but how the film travels from point A to point B is not.  Remember when I said that the trailer for American Hustle was more sexed up than the movie itself?  Well, The Wolf of Wall Street is a complete 180 from that.  The trailer doesn't even begin to give you an idea of the sex, drugs, and language that appear in this film.  If you are easily offended by such, don't go anywhere near this film.  Otherwise if you're a fan of the frequent Scorsese/DiCaprio collaborations as I am and don't mind the possibility of your butt going numb, then give The Wolf of Wall Street a look.  Its a film about rich people and rich people problems, but it is entertaining none-the-less.


- Having grown up during the '80's I was quite amused by and appreciated the accuracy with which the clothing of the time was portrayed.  I swear someone I knew had the same multi-toned shirt that Donnie was wearing when he first approached Jordan.

- Don't expect to see Matthew McConaughey for much longer than he was in the trailer.  He's got maybe about 10 minutes of screen time total, which, is virtually nothing in a 180 minute long flick.  He's pretty damn entertaining in that short amount of time though.

- Recognizable faces in the supporting cast: Hill, McConaughey, Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, and Ethan Suplee (who only had about two speaking lines).  

- When the film ends, I believe only about 7 years have passed.  Because of the length, I felt like more time would have passed.  I thought that tt was a little hard to follow the progression of time.


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