Movie Review: THE WOLF OF WALL STREET - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Terry's Take

Movie Review: THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

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THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (directed by Martin Scorsese) is a dark comedy based on the autobiography of a complete scoundrel, a crooked stock trader who bilked investors out of more than a hundred million dollars in the early 90's.

Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of the best performances of his brilliant career as this degenerate sociopath (Jordan Belfort) who indulged every appetite to complete excess.

Jordan Belfort (v.o.): My name is Jordan Belfort. The year I turned 26 I made 49 million dollars which really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week.

Leonardo DiCaprio is the arrogant Belfort who learns the basics of making obscene amounts of money from his first boss played by Matthew McConaughey, a man who claims that booze, sex, and drugs are essential to success.
 
McConaughey: The name of the game: Move the money from your client's pocket into your pocket.
Jordan: But if you can make money for the client at the same time, it's advantageous for everyone, correct?
McConaughey: No.
     
Greed leads Jordan to start his own firm in an abandoned auto shop on Long Island that he fills with hungry working class salesmen.

Jordan (v.o.): I needed to mold them in my own image. With this script, (addressing his employees) I'm gonna teach each and everyone of you to be the best….This is the greatest company in the world. (wild cheering as half naked band members march into the room.)
 
Jordan (v.o.) Is all this legal? Absolutely not. We were making more money than we knew what to do with.
(We see a dwarf being picked up and thrown at a target; strippers dancing, people doing drugs, etc.)
 
Jordan and his partner Donnie, played by Jonah Hill, do every drug known to man. Plus, they keep strippers and hookers on the payroll for constant parties in and out of the office. Jordan also dumps his wife for a new trophy beauty.

The FBI is determined to catch him in an illegal act, but before that happens, the audience is subjected to what seems like endless scenes of high energy debauchery that make me wonder how this film wasn't rated NC-17.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is an extraordinarily well made film, but the depravity of scene after scene eventually wore me down to the point where I felt almost battered.
I admired DiCaprio's amazing performance but by the end of 3 long hours I was so disgusted by his character's degenerate brand of fun that I questioned whether this film was even worth recommending.

Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now.          thunter@hawaiinewsnow.com