Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, begins his stockbroker career at a large firm. However, after a market crash, he starts over, this time finding a way to get rich quick in director Martin Scorsese’s latest film, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
I know next to nothing about Wall Street and stocks so I was a little nervous that I would get lost going into this film. However, the film recognizes that and addresses it multiple times in voice over form. There are some genuinely good laughs in the film, but it mostly tries to stay on the dramatic side even through the crazy antics of Belfort’s office.
Warning: This is a very hard R-rated film filled with drugs, nudity, and enough curse words to send Samuel L. Jackson running for the hills. However, I don’t think those things are a detriment to the film, if anything they add to the environment and help you realize what kind of world Belfort had built and was living in.
The acting is superb all around. Leonardo DiCaprio turns in one of the best performances of his career, as he is in nearly every shot of the film and is on point the entire time. His portrayal of Jordan Belfort may be a bit exaggerated, however no one can argue that it is always entertaining.
While he is the headliner, Jonah Hill is solid and funny as Belfort’s right hand man. The beautiful Margot Robbie plays Belfort’s wife for most of the movie and is not the typical trophy wife that Belfort thought he was getting. Let’s not leave out Rob Reiner, Kyle Chandler, and Matthew McConaughey, who all are terrific in their small roles.
The flaws in the film fall on Scorsese and writer Terence Winter’s shoulders. First of all, the film clocks in at just under three hours. I give some kudos to the job in the editing room to make the thing have decent pacing. That doesn’t change the fact that at the two hour mark I started checking my watch every 15-20 minutes. The story starts strong and drew me in during the first act. However, somewhere around the third time the dancing strippers walked through the office I began to lose interest. This is where I wish Scorsese and Winter would’ve stepped in and trimmed 20 or 30 minutes from the film. It is awfully baggy and repetitive and doesn’t have enough substance to hold a three hour run time.
DiCaprio, along with the rest of the cast make this film worth a viewing and you’ll certainly get your money’s worth if you go to a theatre. Yet after a good couple hours, “The Wolf of Wall Street” stumbles to the finish line and ends up being a brief look at how Wall Street operates and is mostly filled with silly antics and very mature subject matter.
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