Sex, drugs, and stock brokers. The Wolf of Wall Street is all about big money, big boobs, and itchy, powder-tipped noses. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as money-addicted Jordan Belfort, a middle class stock broker whose smooth-talking ways can earn him $50,000 before lunch. With a talent like this, and more luck than St. Patrick with a wagon full of horseshoes, Jordan opens his own firm and surrounds himself with a team off loud-mouthed salespeople whose deals may or may not be legal. For the first half of the film, his career (and the illegality of his deals) goes up and up and up, while in the second half (as you can probably guess) everything goes down down down. There was no buildup, there was no sudden crash, and I lost interest pretty early on.
This film has a jaw-dropping running time of 180 minutes. That’s longer than both The Hobbits. It also felt sluggish because I could care less about what happened to the protagonist. He’s an egotistical, greedy, drug-addicted member of the 1%. Leonardo DiCaprio does a fantastic job of trying to keep you interested, with cocaine-induced highs of energy and lust levels that would make Vegas blush. Jordan goes through various drug crazes, from powder to pills, and DiCaprio manages to portray a different ‘high’ for each one: from a drooling mess of lost muscle control, to rocket-powered energy levels, or an embarrassing lack of inhibitions. Jordan’s gang of friends are no straight-shooters either, being money-grabbing sleazeballs who fuel their boss’ fires.
The whole cast (mostly white men because, hey, it’s Wall Street in the 90s) constantly teeters along the line of funny and insulting. This’ll make me sound like a Boring Betsy, but I was totally unprepared for the onslaught of swearing, naked hookers, midget-jokes, and general stupidity that took the gags too far. There were definitely some parts I found hilarious, where everything was exactly right, but most of the time the scene dragged on, snowballing until the inappropriateness was just too much to bear. Be warned, it is not a movie you want to see with your parents. Don Jon or Zack and Miri Make a Porno are family friendly alternatives to The Wolf of Wall Street.
This movie doesn’t really know what it wants to be. It’s part success story, party-movie, autobiography, and porno. It could have ended at four or five different moments but instead tediously dragged on until the bitter end. The Wolf of Wall Street is a movie you need to be prepared for before you invest in a ticket. It gets a 4/10 from me because I was ready to call it quits while there was still at least an hour to go.
This review (and many more) can also be found at http://thecinemaid.net/2014/01/01/the-wolf-of-wall-street-2013/#more-1010