Monday, December 30, 2013

Review: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

                                  There Must Be A Full Moon Out Because This 'Wolf' Really Howls

                   As a devoted fan to the brilliant work of director Martin Scorsese, whose work includes Goodfellas, Raging Bull, and The Departed, as well as a fan of the acting chops of Leonardo DiCaprio, whose impressive resume includes such films as Shutter Island, Catch Me If You Can, and Inception, I can honestly say this is another crowning achievement on the list of films they have made over the years.

                 The Wolf of Wall Street is based on a true story about a young penny stockbroker named Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) who quickly became rich by corrupting investors and resulting in the FBI getting on his tail for years. As the FBI get closer on his tail and he descends into drug addiction, Belfort begins to realize a consequence of living the high life, which appears to be a life without consequence and where life becomes one big party.

                 What I Liked About It:
                First off, what I'll get into is the brilliant direction by Martin Scorsese. There are some instances where you can tell that you are watching a Martin Scorsese film as he really stays true to his form while entering into a different territory of story telling. Unlike his more serious films that he has done over the years, here he delivers a solid black comedy and does the movie with such flare that despite the film's 3-hour running time, you still are glued to the screen. So major kudos to you, Marty! You continue to prove why you are not just one of the greatest directors working today, but why you are one of the greatest directors of all time. Period.

                Another thing that I really liked was the performances from the cast. Leonardo DiCaprio delivers yet another fantastic performance as Jordan Belfort, the sleazy and manipulative yet charismatic stockbroker. Jonah Hill also does a fine job as Donnie, Jordan's equally sleazy partner-in-crime. Matthew McConaughey only appears for about two scenes as Belfort's devil-on-his-shoulders boss, but even in those scenes he really shines. I especially liked the scene where McConaughey does the improvised gorilla-like chest beating. In my opinion, it shows how stockbrokers can be like animals and Wall Street is like a big jungle. But one actress that I'd like to talk about is the film's breakout actress Margot Robbie. She is just electric as Belfort's beautiful gold-digging wife Naomi as she is very sensual yet exudes such fiery anger. I definitely look forward to more from this young actress in the near future and thank you to Scorsese for discovering her. Another thing that I thought was interesting was how even though it shows many scenes of the main characters partying and doing drugs excessively, it didn't take away from the story and even lets some of those scenes tell the story themselves. So, I thought that was pretty neat. A movie like this could've easily just been talky for the most part and just talk of stock exchange mumbo jumbo, but it manages to be rather entertaining and keep the audience glued in.

                What I Didn't Like About It:

               Overall, The Wolf of Wall Street is another masterful piece of filmmaking by the dynamic duo of Scorsese and DiCaprio. It's entertaining, directed with such style and flare, and is such thrilling storytelling. This 'Wolf' is definitely not more bark then bite. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone because there is plenty of graphic sexual content which might make some viewers uncomfortable, but if it's not much of a bother or if you are a fan of Scorsese or DiCaprio, I would highly recommend this.

Rating: 5/5