There is nothing like the thrill of seeing a new Martin Scorsese film. Re-teaming with his new muse Leonardo Dicaprio making it their fifth film together, based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort The Wolf of Wall Street is about, a stock broker convicted of fraud crimes due to stock market manipulation, tells the tale of a man discovering sin on all leaves and loving every minute of it. It has got some heat of recent from being unsympathetic to the victims of Belfort’s antics while relishing in his dirty deeds, however this is Scorsese jumps straight in to Belford’s shoes and so doesn’t reflect that because Belford doesn’t himself. This is also why it seems to feel intoxicated by all the sex and drugs and the lifestyle onscreen but yet still mentions the humour making Wolf of Wall Street a dark satire. Marty is on full Goodfellas mood that feels both nostalgic and fresh all at once with an energy that is kinetic.
Packed full to the brim with great performance most of all the central one from Dicaprio going full throttle, firing on all cylinders keeping the momentum going from the extremely long running time. Embracing the chaos he is the heart and soul of the film whether you like that heart or not. Jonah Hill is plays Belford’s right hand man Donnie who with his huge white teeth is gloriously loathsome. Arguably more out of control than man who he looks up to, hanging on his coat tails, he reminded me with is curly hair and repulsive attitude of Sean Penn from Carlitos Way. Kyle Chandler is great as the FBI agent who desperately wants to take him down and Margot Robbie as his trophy wife is perfectly solid in the role but is given very little to do, which is kind of ironic as that is all she is to Belford anyway. Matthew McConaughey nearly steals the film with his one scene towards the beginning. Essentially seducing the main character and showing him the ropes of how to a corporate thieves. It’s a stand out scene that sums up most of the film within the first ten minutes of a three-hour film and that lays the problem with The Wolf of Wall Street. IT’S TOO DAMN LONG. Sorry for stating the obvious and for typing it in block capitals but it’s what lets down an otherwise excellent film.
It a common problem with films based on a real life person, it tends to have a responsibility to be as truthful as possible with a narrative that isn’t concise and flowing as if it was entirely fictional. Its a unfair criticism I know, but biopics tend to be all about the performances with individual stand out scenes without a well paced narrative. Just a sequence of events and The Wolf of Wall Street, with all its crazy drug fuelled escapades and sex parties, is no exception. It boils down to a fun watch but overstays its welcome by quite some time. Of course there is a lot to go through, but it all gets messy when you’re introduced to the female lead an hour into a film. With lavish weddings, shady deals and Jean Dujardin hiding money in a Swiss bank accounts while running from the law, I was just waiting for it to reach its conclusion and that’s never a good thing..