The Wolf of Wall Street – Movie Review

A Malicious Must-See Masterpiece!

Thanks to Roadshow Films, we had the chance to see Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ before its Australian release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because there is no better critic than yourself!

The Wolf of Wall Street image 2The Wolf of Wall Street’ tells the true story of financial swindler Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), who made a fortune in the late eighties and early nineties selling crappy financial products with a ridiculous profit margin. The power-tripping Belfort became a multimillionaire in no-time, and with the money came the drugs, the women, the cars, the yachts, and all other kinds of decadent excess one can imagine.

Scorsese brings this hedonistic story to life in a dazzling rollercoaster ride, that is so fast-paced and full of witty snappy dialogues that you barely notice it is three hours long. The end result is an instant classic that easily ranks among Scorsese’s all-time best movies, and that is saying quite something since we’re talking about the director of ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘Raging Bull’, ‘Goodfellas’, ‘Casino’ and ‘The Departed’.

The Wolf of Wall Street image 4The Wolf of Wall Street’ is scandalous, vulgar, and infuriating. But it’s also brilliant, hilarious, and a genius piece of filmmaking. As despicable and revolting as Belfort may be, Scorsese and DiCaprio constantly keep the viewer waiting to see what this unashamed con man is going to do next.

DiCaprio is well cast as the unlikeable Belfort, and during several hysterically funny sequences he turns out to be surprisingly good at comedy. But it is the support cast that really lifts this movie to a higher level.  The unashamed tone for the movie is set early on with a short but show stealing whirlwind performance by Matthew McConaughey as a Wall Street-veteran  who explains some tricks of the trade. Jonah Hill delivers a hysterically over the top performance as Donny Azoff, who is Belfort’s right hand man in business, as well as his partner in crime when it comes to drugs, hookers and other mischief. ‘The Walking Dead’-star Jon Bernthal looks and sounds like a young Robert DeNiro in his physical role as the aggressive Brad.

The Wolf of Wall Street image 3Breakout star of the movie is Aussie actress Margot Robbie, who  plays a key role as Belfort’s glamorous trophy wife Naomi LaPaglia. Although it initially seems the Queensland blonde was just cast to look stunning, something she happens to be quite good at, the former ‘Neighbours’-soapie reveals herself to be a talented actress during the course of the movie; when their marriage starts to crumble, the feisty glamourgirl lashes out at her immoral husband with full force. Most good-looking actresses have to wait a decade before they finally get offered a part where they can really show they can act, but in Robbie’s case her first big role straight away confirms her to be way more than just a pretty face.

The Wolf of Wall Street image 1Upon its release in the US, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ caused controversy since it is accused of glorifying its main character. It is true that the film doesn’t criticise its despicable lead character, although no sane person should be inspired to follow in his footsteps. It is very likely however that this biopic of Belfort will inspire many shady characters, in a same way that Michael Douglas’ role as Gordon Gekko in ‘Wall Street’ made countless greedy bastards to go into finance. Plus the movie shows that Belfort basically got away with an incredibly lenient sentence, so in a way it implies that crime does pay.

The Wolf of Wall Street image 5Meanwhile, the real Jordan Belfort is now a free man and since the movie’s release rumours have popped up that he is racking up all the profits from the book and the movie – profits that were intended for his victims. According to some sources he might even be hiding in Australia!

Although this crude epic might be full of swearing, nudity and drug use, apparently Scorsese still had to cut quite a bit of raunchy footage in order for the movie to be released in cinemas. Word is that the renowned director’s first cut of the film was four hours long. With the crazy pace of the three hour final film, we would gladly see a version that is another hour long, so let’s hope this original cut will also be released in the near future.

The Wolf of Wall Streetopens in Australia 23 January 2014