THE WOLF OF WALL STREET: REVIEW
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET: REVIEW – Jay Gatsby hangs out with that fat f*ck from Superbad and show what it’d be like if Hunter S. Thompson had been a c*cksucker of a millionaire stockbroker. The ensuing mayhem makes for one of the most f*cked up and entertaining 3 hour epics about financial misdealings since … well f*cking ever.
After American Hustle and David O. Russell doing a Scorsese, it’s like Scorsese has gone ‘Oh Yeah? Really!? This is Scorsese motherf*cker!’ Telling the true story of Jordan Belfort and written by Mad Men creator Terrence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street stands beside Scorsese’s earlier gangland dramas as the white collar crime end of a trilogy. If Goodfellas and Casino have darker tones, this latest chapter shows the criminal American Dream tragedy playing out as a hilarious hopeless farce.
Leonardo DiCaprio lets rip – channeling a young Jack Nicholson – in a performance of Gargantuan proportions, and for once the Rabelaisian adjective is truly fitting. This is dark excess fueled satire and DiCaprio’s first person narrator is a fitting companion to Henry Hill, with shades of Alex deLarge and Patrick Bateman to boot. Scorsese/Winter/DiCaprio are careful never to temper the material nor moralize to the audience. This has led stupidly to claims the film is immoral. F*ck no. Belfort is selling us his story all the way through the film and the fact he’s so good at it is essential to us understanding how dangerous he is and how complicit we are as a society.
Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Kyle Chandler and Matthew McConaughey are all fantastic and Rob Reiner robs blind ever scene he’s in as Jordan’s temperamental father (compare and contrast with sanctimonious Martin Sheen in Wall Street). The music is spot on and Scorsese keeps the story moving at his frenetic best, but be warned, this is a pitiless portrait of cynicism taken on his own terms. If you don’t have your wits about you, he’ll sell you the dream and take you for everything you’ve f*cking got.