Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street poster 3 Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

The best way I can describe The Wolf of Wall Street is, if you ever wanted to see the business guys from Mad Men lose most of their humanity and become some of the richest douche bags ever mixed with some of the funniest dialogue and situational humor in a long time you get the Wolf of Wall Street. Martin Scorsese easily could have tried to humanize the main characters of this story but thankfully he didn’t and the results are both funny as all hell but pretty dark and depressing as well.

Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo Di Caprio, is the main character of the story and is without a shadow of a doubt the most manipulative and hedonistic rich scum bag to ever walk the face of the planet. At the beginning he’s a regular guy working at the stock market. He’s recently married and besides being too ambitious, he’s a decent human being. But this quickly fades away when the stock broker life style twists him into becoming an alcoholic, drug addict and just all around terrible human being who only cares about pleasure and nothing else.

His transformation into “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a slow, but intriguing process which easily could have been preachy and overly depressing to the point where you want to stop watching. But the film is able to perfectly make one of the most serious and depressing stories in film become enjoyable thanks to the humor. This film is the example for how you can combine dark and serious with the fun and light-hearted. I wish more superhero movies could pull this kind of stuff off at this level.

When I say the film is serious and pretty dark I mean it’s that way in retrospect. When I was watching the film I did pick up on that stuff but it’s really when the credits roll and you’re walking home back from the movie theater you realize just how fucked up this guy and his whole life really is. Through the way he talks to people and narrates he tries to make himself seem like less of a bad guy but, actions speak louder than words and he’s ultimately the biggest scumbag of them all.

I would even go so far as to say this guy is the devil. Just the way he’s able to bullshit  and brainwash people just by picking up a microphone and talking to them is mind-blowing, impressive and scary as all hell at the same time. He’s so charismatic, and the things he promises are so tempting even a decent person would cave in and start following him which a lot of them do. If this guys ambition went any farther he would have become the next Hitler or something along those lines.

But even with all the sex, fancy cars and money his life is ultimately a miserable mess. In life you have to sometimes be the wolf and go for what you want. But Belfort takes this to the absolute extreme, and you can only handle that kind of lifestyle before all the drugs rot your brain away, the feds come knocking at the door and you’re up shits creek without a boat.

Di Caprio kills as Jordan Belfort. He’s already one of the most charismatic actors working in the business today, and he’s able to show every side of Belfort perfectly. When he’s giving his epic speeches, you can see him getting caught up in the moment. When he’s being a rich douche bag he is the douchiest rich mother fucker you’ve ever seen. When he’s high he looks completely wasted. If he doesn’t get at least nominated for his performance, then the Academy officially hates his guts.

Jonah Hill plays Donnie Azoff, essentially Jordan’s second in command. He also plays a rich douche bag whose debauchery is second only to Jordan himself, but he is nowhere near as bad as his boss. Sure he does drugs, drinks and cheats on his wife but unlike Jordan he actually seems to care about his family and he sticks with his best friend until the end where he gets the short end of the stick. He’s also responsible for some of the funniest stuff in this entire film. There were scenes or lines from him where I just burst out laughing and almost cried while doing so.

The other characters and performances are largely relegated to the background, but the entire cast does a fantastic job here even if they have one or two scenes max. Even Margot Robbie who I thought was just going to play some gold digging bitch ended up being another positive character in the story. Sure she falls for Jordan’s charms at first but as time goes on she realizes the guy is just a walking, talking cancer she needs to cut off before he drags her and their kids down to hell with him.

If there’s anything bad I could say about it, its the copious amounts of swearing and the ending. The ending itself is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it’ll piss you off because this is one of those times where the punishment does not fit the crime, and it’ll piss you off when you see Jordan’s “punishment” for his years of manipulating, lying and backstabbing people.

As for the swearing I don’t mind it, hell I swear more than anyone on this site but it just feels they put words like shit, cunt, ass or bitch just to add them in. I think swears are fine in anything but, you gotta time them right to make the swear have impact. Here the swearing gets too out of control and it losses all impact. But, even these complaints are vastly overshadowed by everything else that’s amazing.

Is Wolf of Wall Street the best film of the year? I’m gonna say yes it is. While there are other films I enjoyed more this past year, this is the most complete film of 2013. Everything from the pacing, the tone, the themes, the performances, the music and the cinematography just ooze perfection and there has been no other film this year which can claim to have done this.


+ All of the performances

+ The humor

+ Moves along at a brisk pace

+ Perfectly blends the serious with the fun


– Belfort got off easy

– Swearing losses its impact quickly


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