K Dog’s Review of Wolf of Wall Street

Hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm (pounding chest) is something that I see everyone doing now who ever watched the movie Wolf of Wall Street. The signature chest pounding humming to yourself ritual is done by  all of the stock brokers led by real life con criminal, Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) as a sort of immortality ritual showing their love of drugs, hookers, and the desire to live for themselves and cheat others.

The Wolf of Street is a movie directed by Martin Scorsese and is a movie that stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. It came out recently on Christmas day and is a movie with fairly mixed opinions with some people calling it a work of genius and others a piece of trash. It is a story that deals with a real criminal named Jordan Belfort and his life being a stock broker conning and ruining people’s lives while in the act making him and the rest of his workers rich. Warning, this movie has no sympathy for the people who were suffered by this con man and it shouldn’t be because this movie is not an emotional sympathetic movie. It is a movie that holds nothing back describing the horrible stuff that character Jordan Belfort did and how cold and ambitious his goals were in making him and the people who worked for him better. This movie if anything is not a mortality play, a comedy, or a drama, it is a movie that I describe as an immortality play of how a man ferociously lives out the American dream in the baddest of terms challenging our thoughts on his lifestyle and makes us question or feelings on this sort life Jordan Belfort is having.

Wolf of Wall Street is a movie that I really have conflicted feelings about and no movie I have ever seen has given me so much conflicted feelings like the movie Wolf of Wall Street. While this sounds like a criticism, I can assure you it isn’t, then again it is. A side of me thinks that the movie is a wonderfully directed movie with wonderful energy and very good performances and the other side of me thinks that the movie was an obnoxious and absolutely disgusting movie with some of the most despicable and vile characters ever put on film. The film has things that I despise like it having no likable characters or characters with redeemable qualities or interesting characteristics about them. But I can’t help but enjoy, or specifically respect, The movie for being an entertaining movie with so much confidence and so much guts with its acting and directing, specifically Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Martin Scorsese.

The movie is a film that shows, in an extreme vulgar way, the life of being a criminal, Jordan Belfart, whose whole life is devoted to drugs, whores and money and how despicable this life is and how on edge and exciting it is. The “glorification as well as insult to criminal life” is something that Martin Scorsese has done a lot of times, through movies like Goodfellas and Casino, and he does it very well in this film showing criminal life the way it is, A horrible despicable lifestyle filled with knuckleheads as well as a life filled with excitement and chaos that plays to our vulgar and id instincts. Me being a fan of Goodfellas, more so than the Godfather, is due to the fact of how Scorsese manages to glorify the mob as well as make fun of it at the same time.  The characters are unlikable but they are fun to watch.

Wolf of Wall Street does this sort of thing that Goodfellas manages to achieve but I think it goes too far in a lot of areas.  First off, this movie is not my kind of movie. Now don’t get me wrong I love Scorsese and respect all of his films but movies dealing with violence, and nasty vulgar scenes that make me extremely uncomfortable is not my kind of movie. Especially when I find all of the characters in this move very unlikable and vile people and the fact that I don’t take away any meaningful sort of messages and relatable situations that usually helps me get immersed in a film or any sort of story. Wolf of Wall Street takes violence and vulgar to the extreme and it is a movie that I could see getting an X rating. Parents be advised, do not I repeat, do not take your kids to see this movie, it will scar them for life and I rarely have seen a movie this inappropriate that I can say this statement. The movie is not gonna give you likable characters if you are the sort of sensitive movie lover like me but if you are not you will probably find these characters likable or at least respectable for their ambitions and chaotic behavior. Scorsese is not trying to make us sympathize with these characters and the genius of Scorsese is that he asks the audience whether they enjoy this sort of lifestyle or whether these characters are vile and despicable. I am in the latter but I will be lying if I did not say that some part of me does not find the lifestyle depicted wild and interesting. The wild id part of my brain thinks this.

The movie is full of humor and low brow entertainment and Scorsese, and the actors hold nothing back when showing the life Jordan Belfort lives. I assume after Scorsese has won an Oscar for The Departed, a film that I don’t like that much, Scorsese now doesn’t care whether audiences are gonna appreciate this movie. Scorsese makes the movies he wants to make and I respect him for that. This film, Scorsese is not afraid to make, that I am sure he was aware of, controversial. I don’t think I have ever seen a movie with so much humping ever in my life. There is sex, drugs, animal abuse, outside and inside the office that Jordan Belfort works. Unbelievable, yes, entertaining, yes and the movie makes you not care on whether some scenes are ridiculous. This is mostly all thanks to the actors.

Leonardo DiCaprio gives the performance of his career and makes a character that is one of the most hateful characters in recent movie memory. He plays Jordan Belfort and in this movie he is equally charming, terrifying and funny. Jordan Belfort is a character that is just fun to watch in Wolf of Wall Street where Leonardo Di Carpio plays the character with so much confidence and hard work. I have been impressed with Christian Bale, my favorite film actor working today,  in the movie American Hustle but Leonardo DiCaprio  gives Christian Bale a run for his money. Both play their characters entirely different and it is all a matter of personal opinion on what performance you prefer. I will review American Hustle on a later date but all in all Leonardo plays the character with so much hard work in the film and Christian Bale plays his role effortlessly with hard work on the side, with his amazing body transformation. An example  of Leonardo DiCaprio’s power in his performance  is when he demonstrates his talents as a physical actor having one of the best slapstick scenes I have ever seen in recent memory of him taking a powerful drug that knocks him out having no control over his body or his words while he is in a country club. The scene shows him struggling to get to his car crawling and then, when he makes it to the car, struggles to drive to his house that is less than a mile away. Sounds ridiculous I know but the scene is so well done and acted by Leonardo DiCaprio  and has brilliant direction by Scorsese that it manages to allow the audience to cheer and root for his safety at first and giving us a surprise truth of the whole scene the next day that is brilliantly directed by Martin Scorsese.

Other performances like Jonah Hill is also good as well as new comer  Margot Robbie who plays Belfort’s wife who is incredibly sexy and also strong willed if you look deeper into her character. Jonah Hill plays Leonardo’s partner in crime and he proves time and time again why he should be given more credit as an actor and not always a comedian, because of his chemistry with Leonardo DiCaprio and drama scenes. The ensemble is all good and they are all entertaining characters but not complex characters or sympathetic ones. The movie is a cautionary tale as well as a glorification of the criminal life and the actors achieve by giving the audience entertainment and despicable behavior.

This movie is as if Martin has been  looking at the film Goodfellas and saying to himself, okay Goodfellas was controversial back in the day but screw that we are in the 2010s. Wolf of Wall Street is a movie that takes the glorification and vulgar of Goodfellas and cranks it up 100 times. If you are not into vulgar movies you will not like this movie but hey this isn’t my type of movie and I was able to appreciate it. If you enjoy the movie and not look at so much as a sympathetic sensitive movie you will enjoy this movie. I still can’t figure out if I like this movie or hate this movie. The movie is the most inappropriate and over the top movie I have ever seen in my life. This makes A Clockwork Orange seem like a pg 13 movie and makes Goodfellas a PG movie. This movie should really be rated X and pushes the envelope on what movies can show with its depiction of chaos and violence.

Score: Objectively: 9.3/10 Subjectively: 8.8/10 (Surprising)

Good things: Amazing performances and impeccable energy.

Speeches by Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in the film are delivered with so much power as if he is the modern day equivalent to Hitler.

Wonderful direction

Iconic scene imagery and funny slapstick humor (Specifically Leonardo Di Caprio passing out).

Confidence

Bad things:

Vulgar is not even enough to describe how inappropriate and hard to watch this movie is.

It is way too long. 3 hours and it doesn’t even have that much of a story or interesting characters. As Leonardo DiCaprio character says “the important thing is that we were making money and getting richer and richer through the stuff we were doing.” That is all there is to the plot and how fun it is to watch it.

Mixed feelings:

It has no sympathy for the victims of Belfort’s conning and scheming.

The soundtrack is good but there is not a Layla scene from Goodfellas here.

This has been K Dog and I give this movie a good wild recomendation. This has been K Dog. Peace out and enjoy the movie.