Fans of Leonardo DiCaprio rejoice, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is full of great bits from the actor and a substantial supporting cast including Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler, Margot Robbie, and a little of Matthew McConaughey.
This is not a flick for the family. To illustrate the excessive lifestyle of the super rich like “The Wolf” Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), there is excessive graphic content with hookers, drugs, sex, etc. A lot of this is to be expected, but this redundant and often over the top excess almost feels like the entirety of the content stretching the film to 3 hours, when it could easily have been 2.
As a “How-to” guide to greed and corruption in the modern financial industry, one gets the feeling that Director Martin Scorsese is trying to anger his audience with the outrageous nature and lack of moral fiber found in any character set in Belfort’s Wall Street firm, showing how someone can do so much wrong and face little more than a slap on the wrist as a consequence. The important points about the get rich quick ideology which feels impervious to moral or legal constraints by society and government build up to some key moments in the later tier of the film, but there needed to be a better balance between these subtle tones and the lampooning of the sex/drug crazed brokers.
There are some genuinely funny scenes especially with Jonah Hill as the main supporting role. This is by no means a dry story. The other supporting roles are also purposeful and interesting, with no characters seeming undeveloped or irrelevant.
Maybe “The Wolf of Wall Street” needed to be a drawn out 3 hour process to get its message across on Wall Street in the post-Great Recession stock market. But I think everything could have been condensed to make scenes feel more deliberate and meaningful across the board, rather than just consist of Jordan Belfort’s amoral life story, which we can find in any celebrity tabloid.