Wolf’s Bane – A review of The Wolf of Wall Street
Title: The Wolf of Wall Street
Production Company: Paramount Pictures
Run Time: 138 minutes
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau
Summary: Was a film about Wall Street corruption and the unethical behavior of one of its biggest ne’er-do-wells really necessary? And what’s with all the full frontal nudity? Scorsese, we thought you were an artist.
It’s hard for me to not intentionally malign and abuse Leonardo DiCaprio’s name whenever I talk about his movies. Never has there been a more overrated and over appreciated name in the annals of Tinseltown.
Here is a perfect example of yet another DiCaprio film that will turn the heads of the Hollywood elite and force us to sit through yet another three hour glory fest of debasement, depravity and debauchery.
It amuses me to see that one bastion of poor behavior (Hollywood) chooses to take potshots at another cesspool (Wall Street). But then again, Hollywood has bitten the hand that feeds them more than once (Gordon Gekko ringing any bells here?)
I love it when Hollywood dishes out doses of morality in the form of movies like this that show the baser side of humanity and the greed and corruption prevalent in the lives of the rich and infamous. Of course no one ever bothers to shine the light on Hollywood types before they OD.
Here, DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort in a story about the life and times of the Wall Street mogul who managed to bilk millions of investors out of their hard earned savings all while living the life of the brat playboy that one expects from monetary excess.
Belfort surrounded himself with others who wanted to share in that success. Men jumped at the chance to work with him, knowing well that they would reap the benefit of the trickle down effect that his wealth generating schemes would exploit.
The appeal of that life has limits, though. As outsiders, we can see the lack of morality in the goings on that include prostitutes, alcohol and a plethora of illegal substances that become a necessary stimulation to help these morons get through their days of picking the pockets of average citizenry.
Like any other profession, Wall Street does indeed have its pariahs, men who prey on the lives of others to expand their own financial portfolios. Men do not go to work on Wall Street to intentionally become paupers, but not all of them sell their souls to become slaves to the almighty dollar either. Belfort is just one example of the bad apples that just happen to get caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
The combination of DiCaprio and perennial uber-putz Jonah Hill were the ultimate distractions in credibility for this story. I couldn’t buy either of them in their respective roles in this supposed morality play. DiCaprio has also managed to hurt himself further in my opinion by continuing his rants against Wall Street depravity on the media circuit while promoting this movie.
Martin Scorsese is usually one of my favorite directors, but lately his obsession with using this younger passel of actors is waning thin for me. I would so much rather see him exposing and glorifying the mobsters that he has proven he can do so well in films like Goodfellas and Casino. His darker movies are so much more fun.
And what’s with the gratuitous use of full frontal female nudity that seems to pervade this movie? I realize that Scorcese’s intentionally trying for an R rating and that he’s exposing (pardon the pun) the utter depravity of the main character, but given some of the scenes, NC-17 (or X) might have been a more appropriate classification.
Was Belfort a cretin? Undoubtedly. Did he deserve his comeuppance? Absolutely. Did he deserve a Hollywood movie designed to extol the virtues (or lack thereof) of his lifestyle upon those who will never have the opportunity (thankfully) to be a part of his world where money smuggling and dwarf throwing are just part of the daily ritualistic fun?
Absolutely not. I give The Wolf of Wall Street 2 out of 5 stars.