Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Wolf of Wall Street - Review

The Wolf of Wall Street – Review

Famed Director Martin Scorsese tells the story of the 1980’s Wall Street Broker Jordon Belford who went from virtual obscurity to living the American dream filled with decadent wealth, unbridled greed, corporate corruption and unrepentant debauchery.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Belford and Jonah Hill as Donnie Azoff, Belford’s   confidant and partner in crime, the two young men manage to take the concept of meaningless penny stocks to new unparallel heights of financial success by securing vast sums of money from fraudulent commissions. But like any illegal venture, someone eventually is going to get wind of fraud and in Belford’s case the wind blew squarely in the direction of a failed Wall Street Broker but now turned ambitious FBI agent named Patrick Denham.

What “The Wolf of Wall Street” is not is an overly complicated movie; it is a pretty straight forward plot. Basically Jordon Belford has figured, or more like stumbled into, a sales pitch “gift of gab” scheme to literally rob the ultra wealthy out of their money without really offering them anything in return from their supposedly sound long term investments. What “Wolf” is are scenes after scenes after scenes of a nearly 3 hours running time of one man’s astonishing tale of a crazed roller coaster ride of perpetual lies, deceptions, yelling, screaming, crude behavior, cocaine, alcohol, Quaaludes, sex, mad house parties, bundles of cash, body fluids, orgies, public sex, prostitutes, alcohol, excesses of every kind, infidelity and bribery. Oh did I say yelling? There are more scenes of people yelling and screaming at each other than any other film I have ever seen.

“Wolf” is basically fun to watch and I had more than a few great laughs watching it with a few specific scenes (i.e. FBI interview on Belford’s’ Boat) that were typically and quintessential well crafted Scorsese directing at his best.

There were also 2 other scenes that can be only described as being too crazy to be believed that this in fact could have actually happen in real life. One involving Belford and Azoff trying a new Quaalude called “Lemons” that was funny as hell and the other with Belford racing in his yacht in the Mediterranean to get to Switzerland in a stormy Atlantic sea that seemed more like something you would see on Saturday Night Live than a Scorsese film.
The reason I will not give this film a better score is while it was never boring, the film is essentially a flawed singularly focused one note story of Belford’s unhinged depravity and dishonesty, and while I was very impressed with Scorsese’s ability to keep showing new examples of Belford’s human tolerance for new abuses and moral corruption, in the end “The Wolf of Wall Street” is essentially a modern tale of Sodom and Gomorrah without anyone worrying about the fire and brimstone around them, near them or anything burning for that matter.

3 – 1/2 Stars

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