Review by Brookelin Thorpe

The Wolf of Wall Street – or All the Ways Jordan Belfort is an Ass

I wonder how the Occupy Wall Street movement would have been received if more people had known Jordan Belfort’s story at the time.

There’s a scene where we are treated to one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s famous freak-outs as he (Jordan) screams at his wife about how hard it must be for her, swiping his credit card all day. I wonder if it ever occurred to anybody that the money was scarcely his to begin with. We find it easy to chide the housewife for spending her husband’s cash all day – even when it’s cash he basically stole. It’s a dynamic that calls into question our entire attitude about money and who deserves it.

Jordan Belfort spends the first few scenes being taught by whoever Matthew McConaughey plays that the more useless he is, the more he can expect to make – depraved advice that is 100% true. Does it behoove us, or is it dangerous to remember that the world of Jordan Belfort is real and the same world we live in?

That particular scene is basically the extent of McConaughey’s role in the movie, which is a shame because he has never been more enjoyable to watch. In fact, the entire cast is in top form. I hated the character of Donnie Azoff so bitterly that I almost forgot what a stunning job Jonah Hill did of making me feel that way. Margot Robbie was so unbelievably alluring in the scene where she teases DiCaprio I wanted to have her. And then, of course, there’s DiCaprio, himself.

My dad insists he’ll get an Academy (or Golden Globe, or Oscar, or whatever you call your stupid awards) for this – but I’m sure I’ve heard that said before. In all fairness, this is unquestionably a rare performance from him. We’re so used to seeing dear Leo being serious as shit in his roles that watching him be a screwball on screen may, for the first time in a long while, remind us that he is actually acting out different characters. The key word here being, ‘different.’

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Leo on my screen, and the man is devastatingly talented, it’s just that it’s so easy to forget that fact when we see him filling the same basic template again and again.


Above: one standard deviation from DiCaprio’s typical mould.

I have to warn you right now, that you might not want to see this movie with your family.

While I’m all for snorting coke out of some bimbo’s asshole, I don’t understand why it had to be the very first scene of the movie. I’m sure far fewer people would’ve walked out on that exact same scene if it were in the middle of the movie rather than the first impression. As it was, it took me about 30 seconds to sink in my seat and regret dragging my dad to go see it.

Though, I wouldn’t doubt that all of this is more or less the point.

There are a lot of elements that comprise the human form. There are parts that do the most rudimentary tasks – regulate breathing, activate the stomach, and keep the heart beating. Then there are all the complex hormones and neurotransmitters that reward survival behaviors with a dopamine and serotonin cocktail. A step above that are all the more definitively human characteristics – art, progress, inner contemplation…

There is no such humanity in the lives portrayed in The Wolf of Wall Street. The larger than life characters parading around, being rich and throwing midgets, are all reduced to their more animalistic nature. They live for their next dopamine fix, oblivious to anything more substantial.


Again.

It’s a whole lot of excess for the sake of a whole lot of excess.

At one point, Belfort is about to lose 20 million dollars and quite nearly kills himself and half the people he knows trying to get it back. The entire time, I kept wondering, what if he doesn’t get that $20 million? Will there be something he can’t afford then? Is he about to default on his yacht payments? Are there actual consequences to him losing $20 million, or will it just be that Jordan Belfort won’t have as much money as Jordan Belfort wants to have?

If you’re reading this, thinking I’m an idiot for wondering what happens when a man like that loses $20 million, you obviously haven’t seen the movie yet. I got the impression that was all extra money just… hanging around.

Wolf of Wall Street movie review
Fucking literally.

Our Rating:

Gasps heard from the audience: 3 dozen
Percentage of audience who will try coke after the spinach scene: 20
Minutes spent wishing we had a yacht: all of it
Times we wanted Jordan Belfort to go to fucking prison already: 9

The Wolf of Wall Street – or All the Ways Jordan Belfort is an Ass

I wonder how the Occupy Wall Street movement would have been received if more people had known Jordan Belfort’s story at the time.

There’s a scene where we are treated to one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s famous freak-outs as he (Jordan) screams at his wife about how hard it must be for her, swiping his credit card all day. I wonder if it ever occurred to anybody that the money was scarcely his to begin with. We find it easy to chide the housewife for spending her husband’s cash all day – even when it’s cash he basically stole. It’s a dynamic that calls into question our entire attitude about money and who deserves it.

Jordan Belfort spends the first few scenes being taught by whoever Matthew McConaughey plays that the more useless he is, the more he can expect to make – depraved advice that is 100% true. Does it behoove us, or is it dangerous to remember that the world of Jordan Belfort is real and the same world we live in?

That particular scene is basically the extent of McConaughey’s role in the movie, which is a shame because he has never been more enjoyable to watch. In fact, the entire cast is in top form. I hated the character of Donnie Azoff so bitterly that I almost forgot what a stunning job Jonah Hill did of making me feel that way. Margot Robbie was so unbelievably alluring in the scene where she teases DiCaprio I wanted to have her. And then, of course, there’s DiCaprio, himself.

My dad insists he’ll get an Academy (or Golden Globe, or Oscar, or whatever you call your stupid awards) for this – but I’m sure I’ve heard that said before. In all fairness, this is unquestionably a rare performance from him. We’re so used to seeing dear Leo being serious as shit in his roles that watching him be a screwball on screen may, for the first time in a long while, remind us that he is actually acting out different characters. The key word here being, ‘different.’

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Leo on my screen, and the man is devastatingly talented, it’s just that it’s so easy to forget that fact when we see him filling the same basic template again and again.


Above: one standard deviation from DiCaprio’s typical mould.

I have to warn you right now, that you might not want to see this movie with your family.

While I’m all for snorting coke out of some bimbo’s asshole, I don’t understand why it had to be the very first scene of the movie. I’m sure far fewer people would’ve walked out on that exact same scene if it were in the middle of the movie rather than the first impression. As it was, it took me about 30 seconds to sink in my seat and regret dragging my dad to go see it.

Though, I wouldn’t doubt that all of this is more or less the point.

There are a lot of elements that comprise the human form. There are parts that do the most rudimentary tasks – regulate breathing, activate the stomach, and keep the heart beating. Then there are all the complex hormones and neurotransmitters that reward survival behaviors with a dopamine and serotonin cocktail. A step above that are all the more definitively human characteristics – art, progress, inner contemplation…

There is no such humanity in the lives portrayed in The Wolf of Wall Street. The larger than life characters parading around, being rich and throwing midgets, are all reduced to their more animalistic nature. They live for their next dopamine fix, oblivious to anything more substantial.


Again.

It’s a whole lot of excess for the sake of a whole lot of excess.

At one point, Belfort is about to lose 20 million dollars and quite nearly kills himself and half the people he knows trying to get it back. The entire time, I kept wondering, what if he doesn’t get that $20 million? Will there be something he can’t afford then? Is he about to default on his yacht payments? Are there actual consequences to him losing $20 million, or will it just be that Jordan Belfort won’t have as much money as Jordan Belfort wants to have?

If you’re reading this, thinking I’m an idiot for wondering what happens when a man like that loses $20 million, you obviously haven’t seen the movie yet. I got the impression that was all extra money just… hanging around.

Wolf of Wall Street movie review
Fucking literally.

Our Rating:

Gasps heard from the audience: 3 dozen
Percentage of audience who will try coke after the spinach scene: 20
Minutes spent wishing we had a yacht: all of it
Times we wanted Jordan Belfort to go to fucking prison already: 9

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