JOE reviews: The Wolf Of Wall Street
Based on the absolutely batsh*t crazy memoirs of Wall Street wunderkind Jordan Belfort, The Wolf Of Wall Street is the fifth collaboration between director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo ‘is it my turn to win an Oscar yet’ DiCaprio.
And it is an absolute cocaine-fuelled cracker.
Set over the course of the late 80s and early 90s, the film tells the truly remarkable tale of Belfort’s rise to power as a wealthy stockbroker working in the world’s most famous financial institution, following his colourful career as colleagues made millions of dollars off the back of his stockbroking success, while the FBI tried to shut his bent butt down.
First things first though, a disclaimer: there are NO real wolves in The Wolf Of Wall Street.
Disappointing we know but, fear not animal lovers, there is a lion. And a goldfish. But the less we say about that poor poisson the better...
The most pleasantly surprising thing about this awesome adaptation is just how funny it is.
Once you've prepared yourself for the film's admittedly overlong three hour running time, we really can't overemphasise just how much fun The Wolf Of Wall Street is, and the latest Scorsese/DiCaprio tag team is, without doubt, one of the most amusing and entertaining films that the director has ever made – primarily down to the magnificent performance of his Oscar-nominated lead actor.
Like Catch Me If You Can’s Frank Abagnale on a Class A drugs binge (or like JOE after we've snorted 17 strawberry sherberts in a row), DiCaprio plays the part of Belfort to absolute putrid perfection.
Whether he’s the slick and sleazy stockbroking shark luring a poor, unsuspecting investor into the trap of a terrible transaction, or whether he’s attempting to hilariously drive his fancy-schmancy supercar home while being completely blootered off his balls on an overdose of quaaludes, DiCaprio’s Belfort is at once disgustingly indulgent, despicable and, ultimately, completely and utterly beguiling.
We know, we don’t understand it either.
DiCaprio’s not alone in his excellence though and Marty (that’s right, first name terms) has surrounded his star man with a superb supporting wolfpack.
A Martini-swilling, music-singing Matthew McConaughey channels his inner-Patrick Bateman, an inspired Rob Reiner makes his long-overdue return to the big screen after a ten year absence, and Belfort’s lady love Naomi is played by Neighbours alumnus Margot Robbie who is... well, she's JOE's future wife.
To paraphrase a certain Wayne Campbell, she will be ours. Oh yes. She will be ours.
Special mention also goes to Kyle Chandler as Columbo-esque FBI Agent Patrick Denham and Jonah Hill’s genuinely hilarious turn as Belfort’s best buck-toothed bud, Donnie Azoff, with both men lighting up each and every scene they’re in, whether it's Chandler adding dramatic heft or Hill with some super sidekick comedy.
Although the film has been receiving criticism in the US for its supposed glamorisation of corruption and greed, here at JOE we doff our hat (yes, we wear a hat) to Scorsese and Co. who have unapologetically presented this man’s surreal and bizarre life. The director's focus here isn't, and was never meant to be, on the victims of Belfort's absurd antics, but rather on the incredibly greedy and excessive lifestyle of Belfort and his buddies – that is the story we're here to see.
As for those feeling aggrieved at Scorsese and DiCaprio, of course it makes sense to be more annoyed at people for making a film about this particular subject matter, as opposed to getting annoyed by the brokers and bankers who actually did these terrible things.
In real life.
So it's time to forget the oft-misquoted words of that other Wall Street behemoth Gordon Gekko because after watching The Wolf Of Wall Street you won’t think greed is good – you’ll think greed is f*ckin’ great. Invest.