Sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll and a whole lot of money. Oh my!
Meet Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio): He’s a womanizer, a drug-addict, a go-getter, a hard partier, and most of all, a full-fledged billionaire, and this is his story. We follow Jordan through his early days as a licensed stock broker on Wall Street, where he learns of the ins and the outs from a seasoned-pro (Matthew McConaughey), but eventually, finds himself out of a job and inspiration for life once the stock market crashes. From there, Jordan finds another job in which he’s still working the stocks, however now, he’s found a way to rip people off, and benefit from the extra cash money he has flowing in by the weeks, and then by the days, and then it’s by the hours, and sooner or later, it’s by the minutes of each hour, of each and every single day. So basically, Belfort discovers a way on how to keep on getting richer, and best of all, how to keep on partying and living life until you can’t no more. Sooner than later, though, the FBI starts snooping around and that’s when Jordan begins to find himself backed into a corner that he may not be able to get out of, or one that he may be able to, but will have to take those nearest and dearest down in the process.
Most of you can probably tell by now, but I’ll say it anyway: This movie is a freakin’ blast. Yes, it does clock-in at 179 minutes (that’s near-three hours for those of you counting at home), and yes, it features countless acts of debauchery in which drugs are consumed, women and their body parts are fondled, Big Bens are thrown high up in the air and the “f word” is used more times than it ought to be, but if you can stick through all of this and keep the blood pumping, you’re going to find yourself having one of the best times at the movie theaters.
Just exactly like I did, and here’s why.
It’s not easy to make a film about a bunch of stockbrokers that are knowingly ripping people off, in hopes of gaining a heftier wallet and more gifts to bring to the parties, in which we don’t actually hate them and instead, actually rather loathe them, but with all of the movies he’s made in the past (including this), Martin Scorsese has proved himself to be more than up to the task, and then some. Scorsese is approximately 71-years-of-age, but this movie does not show an old man working inside of his comfort-zone, nor one who seems like he can just get as much enjoyment from the spoils of this movie, as much as his subjects in his movie are. Nope, instead, Scorsese continues to find more and more ways in which he can try something new, or, for lack of a better term, never slow down.
When I said that this was a movie that clocked-in at nearly-three hours, most of you probably ran for the hills and never looked back; but what I didn’t say was that it was a near-three hour movie that never, not for a single second, slows down. Sure, there are some moments where we see Scorsese let go of his style and just let his ensemble do the speaking for him, but it’s all Scorsese, all of the time, and it never lost its sense of energy that made it such a blast to watch for its first five minutes of being on screen, let alone it’s 2-hours-and-59-minutes. And needless to say, some of it could have definitely been chopped-down and even taken-out, but with what Scorsese himself has here, it’s pure dynamite by how quick, fun and energetic everything is, without taking a brief moment for silence or to catch your breath.
In other words, if you can’t handle a near-three hour movie that never cools its brakes, you may want to look elsewhere, because once Marty and the rest of his gang get this bus going, they aren’t stopping and it makes you feel like Scorsese himself may never, ever quit making movies. And I would have no problem with that whatsoever, because if he shows us, so late in the game, that he can still hang with the best of them, get moving when he needs to, and also be able to keep his blood-pressure at a reasonably healthy rate, then we don’t need anybody else other than him. If he’s going to keep on branching out and trying new things, then who needs someone that could be, “The Next Martin Scorsese”. It would surely be nice to get someone else who can master the art of the multiple over-head narrations, or the constant zooming-in camera movements, but as for right now, at this moment in time, I’m fine with Marty Scorsese sticking around for however long he damn well pleases to. I just hope that he continues to make movies as exciting, entertaining and hilarious as this.
But everything that I’m saying about Marty, and how he seems to still be open to new and cool things to play around with, could be said for his cinematic muse, Leonardo DiCaprio. Anybody who has ever followed my blog and knows my history, knows that I am a huge and adoring fan of Leo, and he did not disappoint me a single second here. Heck, in fact, I’d say that he surprised the hell out of me here, showing that it is possible for somebody who’s nearing-40, and who has already shown his talents as an actor, to still shock us by letting us know that he’s capable of doing more than just yelling, emoting and being upset; in fact, just like he proved with his Oscar-worthy performance last year in Django Unchained, he can actually be quite funny and steal the scene from some of the most charming, and spirited screen-presences out there.
Not only does Leo get show his lighter-side with Belfort, in terms of making wise-cracks and just being the lovable, handsome devil that knows what to say, and when to say it, he also gets to branch-out a bit and pull-off some really impressive scenes where it’s just him, and him alone. There’s the one scene that everybody seems to be talking about in which Leo begins to feel the side effects of decade-old Quaaludes, and begins to fall limp in every part of his body; almost to the point of where he’s practically dragging himself and crawling to his car. It’s the scene that everybody seems to be talking about, and with good reason: It’s funny, it never ends (in a good way), it’s probably the quietest scene in the whole movie, it’s bizarre and the best of all, it shows us that even somebody like Leo DiCap, the same guy who has been taking serious-role-after-serious-role for a good chunk of his career, can handle something like “physical comedy”, and pull it off with perfection. There’s even a couple more scenes where he’s getting the rest of his stockbrokers all locked, cocked and loaded for whatever it is he wants them to do, whether it be getting richer or throwing down a sweet-ass party, and he absolutely owns each and every one of them, showing us, once again, that if you give him character, you give him a drive, you give him a capable director and you put a camera in front of his face, he’s going to make some magic happen and absolutely over-power everybody else around him.
That’s why, when you look at an ensemble as wide and as fun as this, you really do have to give a whole bunch of credit to somebody like Leo for never letting this movie loose, because his shoulders are the ones in which this flick solely rests its fate on. While everybody here is charming, fun, crazy and anything else but boring, he’s the guy who keeps the train on its tracks, making us realize that these were in fact, real people, who screwed over real people, just like you or me. Though Scorsese may never seem to go any further than “look at all these rich guys and all the debauchery acts they’re committing”, the movie is still a powerful indictment on the fact that these were guys who messed our economy over, and we’re the ones who had to pay for it. It sucks big time, and even though this movie has a good time getting itself away from that fact, we’re still the ones who have to suck it up and move on with our lives, while they are the ones who get to live freely and still be able to do what they want.
Sucks, I know, but it’s all in the name of a good time, right?
Anyway, needless to say, I’ll be pulling for Leo to land his Oscar this year, as I do every year, but let’s face it: He’ll be lucky enough to nab a nomination. Which blows, because he’s so electrifying here, you’ll wonder what else he’s got in-store for us and whether it will be back to his old ways of playing the same old,”troubled and tortured smart guy role”, or if he’ll continue to surprise us and show that he’s got more in his tank than what we know of? I don’t know what side he’ll most likely lean towards, but what I can is that Leo will definitely keep on being one of the best working today, and one that proves to me, as well as to everybody else, time and time again, that nobody can steal the spotlight away from him. Nobody!
Yeah, I’m a bit of a Leo DiCap fan boy. Deal with it.
Like I was saying before though, Leo may own this movie, but he isn’t the only that’s actually “good” in it. Jonah Hill is a laugh-out-loud riot as the equally as demented and sick buddy of Jordan’s, Donnie, who starts to show some pretty dark shades to his character as time goes on; Matthew McConaughey appears in about two or three scenes early on in the movie and is a whole box of fun, even giving us some insight into the person that Jordan himself aspires to be, and most likely, will be once he gets his paychecks in order and balance; Rob Reiner is a welcome-presence to see back on the screen, this time, playing Jordan’s dad who handles all of the money, and doesn’t like to ask questions about where it comes from and what it’s for, but still somehow can’t get away from being just a little curious; Jean Dujardin shows up as a Swedish bank-owner that Jordan doesn’t particularly like, but does business with to keep the feds off of his ass; and speaking of those feds, Kyle Chandler plays the FBI Agent whose leading the whole sting-operation against Belfort and his trusty band of misfits, and somehow forms a nice rivalry between the two, despite only having about two scenes together where they actually do match wits.
Oh, and last but not least, Margot Robbie is as perfectly-suited for this Scorsese flick, as much as she’s easy-on-the-eyes, because while she does definitely get full-on naked at various times, she never feels like an object that’s an easy stepping-stool. She can hang with the big boys and she proves that she won’t be taken advantage of, even when it’s clearly obvious that all Jordan wants her for is a nice fuck and a gal to watch over the rest of his family, as well as his empire, just in case he just so happens to be gone for a short while. She’s what every man in the world wants: Smart, brass, good-looking, and a fire-breather in bed, but also the same type of girl that won’t put up with your shit, no matter what. In other words, each and every one of my ex’s. Damn them all!
Consensus: Running on a near-three hour time-limit may take some viewers away from spending time with the Wolf of Wall Street, and the excessive amount of drugs, sex, crime and violence that it depicts, but those who are willing to, will find themselves rewarded with not only one of the most entertaining flicks of the year, but also one of the most impressive that shows us that neither Leonardo DiCaprio, nor Martin Scorsese are down for the count and might just have a few more hits left in them.
9 / 10 = Full Price!!
Photo’s Credit to: IMDB, Collider, Joblo, ComingSoon.net
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
That is a flattering review. I hope I like it as much as you when I finally see it. 🙂
I hope so also. It’s a pretty rad piece of film-making!
How long is this movie? I didn’t notice it written in your post. (Ha ha just joking man) Great review and this movie just looks AWESOME! I plan on seeing it later today or Thursday.
The reason why I kept on saying three-hours was because I know plenty of people that wouldn’t want to spend their whole day seeing something this long. Even though they definitely should!
When I was the theatre yesterday they told me that not one show of Wolf had sold out yet, but every 47 Ronin show did. I thought of it but three hours after sitting through two others would have been too much for me.
Excellent review. Scorsese and DiCaprio make a terrific duo, and I can’t wait to watch this.
Thanks! It’s a fun ride, especially since both of them are on top of their game.
Great review Dan! Unfortunately in the UK we have to wait until the middle of January to see Scorsese’s latest! I for one cannot wait though!
Hope you like it when you see it!
Ahh!! It’s out!! It’s now the only Martin Scorsese movie I have not seen!! Must see it immediately. Which will be when I get home, on the 27th, I’m hoping. So excited for this one. Glad you enjoyed it, and I hope it’s worth the full price for me, too. Happy Christmas! (Unless you don’t celebrate!)
It’s so much fun, that I hope you get a chance to see it. It’s worth it!
I just saw it. Loved it. Had to hear my mother ramble on about how it was porn. She’s getting on my nerves, and I actually feel bad for the people behind us!!
Love Scorsese and I’m really excited to see this one, though I’d have to wait a bit till its release in January. Great review! Merry Christmas Dan 🙂
When it comes around, give it a go! You won’t be disappointed!
Superb stuff Dan, super excited for this! Merry Xmas dude.
I’ve loved Leo forever as well as Scorsese. I am glad to hear you sing high praises for the film. I’m going for the acting and to see what Mr. Scorsese does with the camera and will ignore the rude and crude lifestyle of Jordan Belfort, who epitomized how low a man could go 😉
Everything’s awesome here. So go for it all!
I’m looking forward to that one, I have a kind of one sided love/hate relationship with leonardo di caprio considering that he doesn’t know that I exist. 🙂
Yeah, if only Leo was my actual pal, rather than the pal in my dreams.
Nice review. I’ve been eager to see The Wolf on Wall Street a long time and it’s great to hear it’s another hit by Scorsese.
I am too. They never seem to disappoint!
I’m with you on this one. Ever since the first preview came out I’ve been looking forward to seeing Wolf and I wasn’t disappointed. For those of us at the AMC in DC we had to sit through 25 minutes of previews first which made for an even longer movie, but it was well worth it and the time did fly by.
That just adds insult to injury. However, I’d say that it’s worth it. Honestly.
I can’t wait for this to come out in the UK next month, sounds like Goodfellas in Wall street, what could be a better mix in Scorsese’s world?
It’s the perfect mixture of both, with Leo in the middle, loving it all.
Glad to hear you enjoyed it my friend. For me, it was just a bit too redundant even though DiCaprio deserves another nomination for his amazing performance. Definitely agree with you on Robbie and the rest of the supporting cast as well.
Solid review as always!
Things continued to happen, over and over again in a repetitive manner, but it never got boring for me. It just always seemed like Scorsese indulging the hell out of himself, and I couldn’t help but watch with happiness and delight on my face.
I couldn’t agree more with this review. Everyone had American Hustle on blast as this “super fun” movie, but boy did it drag. Wall Street IS the non-stop, fast lane party movie of the year, and it’s an easy to sit through 3-hour movie. I’m a huge Leo fan too, and while his performance was great, I don’t think this will be his year 😦 Let’s not forget Christopher Plummer didn’t get his first Oscar till he was what? 83? Hopefully we won’t wait that long for Leo…
Both movies were a never-ending barrage of fun and craziness. This is just slightly better than that movie, however, they are both a great time at the movies.
A Christmas Day post! Your devotion to the cause is admirable Dan 🙂
I just can’t stop!
Nice review, Dan. It’s a long one, but definitely a good one. 🙂
That’s for sure!
Holyshit holyshit holyshit holyshit. I am so overwhelmed by this movie’s supreme AWESOMENESS!!! You’ve got a great review for it, too. Read it twice. I’m going to struggle to write a review of my own that doesn’t sound like I am completely head-over-heels in love with Scorcese and DiCaprio. . .but hell, would that actually matter?? The Wolf might have made my Top 10 of all time list. Sounds like high praise, I know, but you are right: they made these crazy drug-addicted, money-hungry jackasses into people we actually rooted for. I felt really bad for Jordan when he was going to prison hahah
I didn’t necessarily like Belfort, but I felt bad for him in some cases. And I was always interested by him, which was enough for me to at least enjoy him.
I can’t wait to see this! It looks so awesome, great review.
Like Joan said, it was a long bit of sitting at the AMC in Sarasota. We too had 25 minutes of previews, But the film flew by. Even though a few scenes went on too long, I was caught up in the fervor on display. This isn’t a film for everyone, but it was easily Leonardo’s best performance. And while I don’t think this was Martin Scorcese’s best film ever, it was head and shoulders above Hugo, and Shutter Island, his most recent cinematic directorial efforts. Thanks for the fine review Dan.
It’s a fun time, I just always make sure people know what they’re getting into.
Great review! I have no idea who Margot Robbie is, but then again prior to The Departed I had no idea who Farmiga was. Scorsese sure has an eye for interesting actresses.
I completely understand your fan boy love for DiCaprio he’s just hugely likeable in everything he’s in. Another one I’ll have to wait till next year to see but your review has definitely got me excited, along with American Hustle. Can’t wait!
scorsese continues to pump out staleness
dicaprio remains as deep as a birdbath
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I really enjoyed your write up. It’s not a perfect film. There could’ve been at least 30 minutes edited out to make this a tighter runtime. Jordan likes to snort cocaine and hookers….a lot. We get it!!
BUT! This has got to be Leonardo DiCaprio’s greatest performance and given how great of an actor I believe him to be, that’s saying something. I was mesmerized. He better get a nomination. He is just too good to ignore.
Hey Dan, I think Leo, Jonah, Martin should own the Oscars this year. They were all exceptional. It was total excess and debauchery but also good fun too!!! Good review.
I really cant wait to catch this one, hearing nothing but great things and your review has just heightened my expectations. Cheers Dan
Great review Dan. Although Scorsese is old, this film’s pace certainly doesn’t show his age. I personally think it’s one of his best in a REALLY long time, maybe even since Goodfellas. I agree that it probably could have been chopped a bit, but it still moves so well. Matthew McConaughey steals the show in the few minutes he’s in. Crossing my fingers he manages a Best Supporting Actor nomination for this. DiCaprio is amazing, Hill is great, and so is Rob Reiner. Excellent performances, hilarious dialogue, and so much debauchery. You never mistake any of these guys for good people you’d want to hang out with, yet watching them do all the messed up things they do is pretty effing funny. I did not expect to laugh as much as I did throughout the entire movie. This definitely made it into my top 5 for 2013.
Hi, Dan. Man, we are at odds with this one. I maintain that the movie is rotten, deformed. The core of the movie is depraved. And the movie’s arguments are, well, nonexistent. It’s too slick and glossy without any kind of emotional or moral center. I love Scorsese, but this was a profound bummer for me. I wasn’t offended by the characters’ actions, I was offended that the movie thought they were so cool to watch. I would rate it below the original Wall Street, below American Psycho, below Glen Gary Glen Ross (which isn’t about stocks but it is about sales and cold calling) below even Boiler Room. I wish Scorsese would enter his late phase, do more austere films, or return to the smaller, quirkier movies of the mid-1980s. Anyway, thanks for visiting my blog. You seem to have a lot more people visit your’s than mine. Oh! I have my best-of each decade list. You’ll like them: the 2000s (I have maybe 40 films, but here’s the intro and the top 12 or so)
I go all the way back to the thirties. (I skip the silent era; I haven’t seen enough of the movies and I’m not crazy about the ones I have seen. having said that, The Passion of the Joan of Arc is great.)
Is this coincidence… We’ve addressed almost all similar points and you, even more. I suppose everyone who has loved the movie might have the same opinion.
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Finally saw it this past weekend and has a blast with it. Like you mention the Lamborghini scene really stand out, especially the eventual payoff, which makes it even more memorable. Great review.
This film ain’t my cup of tea, I’m afraid… Good review, btw!
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