The Wolf of Wall Street – Review

the wolf of wall street poster

In my review for American Hustle, I said that it seemed like David O. Russell was attempting to do his best Martin Scorsese. The Wolf of Wall Street almost feels like this is Martin Scorsese’s answer back. “No, this is how you do Martin Scorsese.” Mr. Scorsese does Martin Scorsese to 11 with The Wolf of Wall Street. This movie is the most over the top project directed by Mr. Scorsese since the video for Michael Jackson’s Bad.

It’s The Wolf of Wall Street’s over the top tone that keeps it so entertaining for it’s exactly three hour running time. Yes, that’s right, 180 minutes. The Wolf of Wall Street is two minutes longer than the theatrical release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  Thankfully, Terrence Winter’s screenplay combined with Scorsese’s directing made for a much faster moving movie than it’s three hour run time would suggest. At no point was I looking at my watch, wondering how much more we had to go.

This is NOT the size soda you want to order for a 3 hour movie.

This is NOT the size soda you want to order for a 3 hour movie.

Following what I would call the classic Martin Scorsese story arc, Jordan Belfort gets really good at doing something bad, is handsomely rewarded for it and then comes crashing down to earth in the end. It’s almost like Goodfellas on steroids. The money that Jordan Belfort makes in The Wolf of Wall Street puts Henry Hill’s biggest heist to shame. Though when the rug gets pulled out from under him, Jordan has a much easier fall than Henry did. They both lose the lives they had, but Jordan’s bounce into his new life seems to have bounced a lot higher than Hill’s, at least in the way that the ending of The Wolf of Wall Street depicts it.

The acting in The Wolf of Wall Street is top notch. Leonardo DiCaprio shows again why he is this author’s favorite actor of his generation. Best Leading Actor Oscar worthy? Not this year, when your competition is Matthew McConoughey in Dallas Buyers Club and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave. That said, this continues the streak of Leonardo DiCaprio films being films you should see.

Jonah Hill is great as Belfort’s right hand man, Donnie Azoff. Hill has the most entertaining line in the whole movie when he lets out, “I want…to smoke crack…with youuu!” shortly after meeting Belfort. This will be the line I quote most from the movie.

According to IMDB, Matthew McConoughey’s chest thumping at lunch was McConoughey’s idea, and not something that happened that lunch in real life. This makes sense, as that scene is pure McConoughey. That chest thumping is a warming ritual McConoughey does before acting.

We caught The Wolf of Wall Street at the excellent 84th and Broadway AMC. Dear New York City, why would you go to any other movie theater? This one rocks. Barcaloungers, reserved seats, a well stocked snack bar, what more could I want? If a movie I want to see is playing in this theater, I want to see it in this theater.

tommy popcorn

This size popcorn is 100% the right size popcorn for a 3 hour movie.

Yes, The Wolf of Wall Street is three hours long. Yes, the f-bomb is dropped over 500 times in the movie. Yes, there’s a lot of drug use, nudity and unsavory characters. And also…yes, you should definitely see it.