Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street, another fabulous film from Martin Scorsese and another near miss for Oscarless Leonardo Dicaprio, showered with praise and money but lacking in the little gold man.  It’s okay, I’m sure he doesn’t give a shit.  The film follows the professional rise and fall of Jordan Belfort (Dicaprio) from Wall Street underling to drug-fuelled over lord of debauchery and decadence.

Jordan Belfort is a trainee stockbroker and he gets off to a fantastic start with a fantastic company, this leads to him getting a taste of what it means to be successful in this business, unfortunately Black Monday happens causing him to lose his job with his now bankrupt company.  Young, innocent and in love he ends up getting a job in a run down crappy ‘boiler room’ which is basically a room full of people selling the stock exchange equivalent of snake oil.  It’s at this point Jordan befriends Donnie Azoff who is basically the loud mouth, ugly, horrible person that you knew from school that kept getting dates with beautiful women outside of the rules and regulations of biology and social convention. They bond quite quickly and they start their own tiny business selling large amounts of ‘penny stocks’ for a massive commission to people with lots of money who have been gulliblised… did you know Gulliblised isn’t in the dictionary? It’s roughly around this time he gets called the Wolf of Wall Street in a newspaper causing every financier in the business to get dollar signs in their eyes at the thought of working with this man who seems to be ejaculating money.

In less time than it takes to blow cocaine into a hooker’s anus the FBI start investigating Jordan. It doesn’t help that the money has gone to his head and the government doesn’t trust people who make money very easily (that aren’t them/their friends that is), especially when it involves defrauding people and inhaling bowls of cocaine and Quaaludes like some intense limited edition box of Lucky Charms. 

Realising he owns all of the worlds money he decides to go stick it in a Swiss Bank Account under his mother in laws name, hiding it all away in a safe place.  Why he sets it up under the name of the oldest person he knows, who’s rushing towards her impending death, is quite odd, and just asking for difficulty down the line. The rest of the film is a drug fuelled FBI chase flick and it’s slightly better than they normally are. 

Personally I loved this film to bits, I’m a wee bit impatient with Scorsese sometimes, and I always feel he could trim the fat a little, but not so much with Wolf of Wall Street.  It was long, but it was an all you can watch buffet of intrigue, fraud, debauchery and irresponsibility.  I defy anyone to watch this film and not immediately defraud at least one government, or at least try to screw the population of some country out of millions.  He’s twenty-six years old, basically a child with infinite money, and he behaves the way a child would and I spent the whole film a little bit jealous.

 Dicaprio and Hill work together brilliantly this time, and there were incredible performances from both men, however Leo’s character is very much one of those dickheads that gives being a successful businessman a bad name, so much that he is not really a protagonist at all. He is very antagonising, and there is a certain amount of pleasure to be taken from watching his life fall to bits eventually.

Ultimately though I really enjoyed Wolf of Wall Street, it gets a 4/5, [★★★★☆]

Dave Roberts

The Wolf of Wall Street at CeX

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