This was a guest review submitted by William Derbyshire. Thanks William! You can submit your own reviews to SquidFlicks here.
Okay. First things first, I’ll just get straight to the point: The Wolf of Wall Street is wrong. Just plain and utterly wrong. So much so that anyone with heart problems will be dead before its 180 minutes are up. Even describing in this review as to how filthy, immoral, lewd, crude and vulgar it really is can cause your pulse rate to go through the roof. How it got past the film censors is anyone’s guess unless director Martin Scorsese sneaked it past them when they weren’t looking. It’s probably the kind of film Oliver Stone would have wanted his own Wall Street to be if he had been given the chance.
So it’s definitely NOT for the faint-hearted. However, if you can stomach it all like I did and lived to tell the tale, then you’ve just survived the most highly raucous but entertaining experience you’ll have in a very (very) long time. But it’s worth taking your health into consideration first like reading the warning sign before going on one of those extreme theme-park rides.
From dirty start to obscene finish, every profanity in the English dictionary is used, all the characters are the lowest of the low and yet it’s what makes them loveable and the most obscene behaviour ever committed to film is depicted in such a way it’s almost creative, whether it’s eating a live goldfish, snorting cocaine and doing the nasty at work or relieving one’s self on legal documents.
The Wolf of the title is stockbroker and anti-hero Jordan Belfort and the film tells the true story of how he rose to the top forming a company that sells useless junk to any sap unlucky enough to have given them a bell, only to fall just when his life couldn’t get any sweeter. Along the way, he cheats on his wife, parties practically every day, remarries, has passion with his new other half, lavishes her with expensive gifts and becomes a daddy.
Leonardo Di Caprio gives out the performance of his career as Belfort and shows how much he has matured from new kid on the block during the 90s to fine young actor who’s almost hit the 40 mark. Jonah Hill also gives out his all, making untrustworthy but crazy salesman and partner-in-crime Donnie Azoff so loud and foul-mouthed, his acting is worthy of an Oscar.
All the cast members, including an energetic Margot Robbie and the ever so posh and privileged Joanna Lumley, deliver their lines with such fun and enthusiasm that you get the impression they improvised them before each scene was shot.
As well as all the ground-breaking obscenity on display, The Wolf’s best highlights also include Belfort, high on powerful drugs, trying to bumble his way to his car (and drive it) like an incapacitated Mr Bean and a sea-faring journey via yacht that ends in disaster (remind you of something, Leo?).
The party stalls during a lingering sequence with the FBI which can be forgiven given that it takes about the same amount of time the interval of a raunchy comedian’s stand-up show would allow. But then, Scorsese starts to kill it off slowly. You know where this is leading but the ending is stretched out to a point a spot of editing during the final act is seriously needed. There are also moments of repetition and where the film goes from shocking to downright nasty, some of which are unbearably unwatchable.
But that’s probably me being a bit too sensitive and there are those who can probably take it. For those who have stayed up late to see a very enjoyable Christmas do right to the very end and know that it’s all ended with a bang, you’ll feel the same way after The Wolf’s reaches the end of its lengthy conclusion. Things may not work out for Belfort but you still end upsmiling.
The Wolf of Wall Street is Martin Scorsese’s well-directed, extremely outrageous and satirical but enormously funny epic that will leave you gasping for air and recovering from it a few days after you have left the cinema. See it again if you have the guts for it. You’ll need them.