The Wolf of Wall Street

Posted on December 26, 2013

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The Wolf of Wall Street – This could have been a great movie.  It starts out snappy, sharp, funny, irreverent in the first third.  Matthew McConaughey (Mark Hanna) has just the right amount of sleaze.  Leonardo DiCaprio (Jordan Belfort) is like a kid in a candy store when he finds out how to make millions by screwing investors.  He takes a bunch of weed salesmen and turns them into penny stock salesmen and the money rolls in.  With that, he goes into excess overload with sex and drugs – no rock  & roll, though.  Cars, homes, second wife, and parties out the wazoo.  Debauchery and decadence rule.

The acting is superb.  Jonah Hill (what’s with the teeth?) was award-worthy.  So was Kyle Chandler as Agent Denham.  DiCaprio did some of his best acting, part of the time though he appeared to still be in Great Gatsby mode and once I saw his Edgar Hoover face.  McConaughey was on just for two minutes and wonderful as always.  Rob Reiner plays Leo’s father.

But it’s three hours long and there are so many unnecessary scenes.  We got it that they drank, they snorted cocaine, they hired prostitutes, they had wild sex.  We don’t have to be told over and over again.  Sometimes veers into Animal House frat party parties.  Midget tossing, for goodness sake.  A scene with a gay housekeeper and his friends is totally superfluous.  “The Perfect Storm” scene could have been eliminated.

If you’re sensitive to language, nudity, graphic sex, you’ll probably want to stay away.  If you do go, don’t forget to pack a lunch.  Also, you can probably read the book in the time it takes to see the movie.  I do wish Mr. Scorsese would consult with me next time.

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