Movie review: The Wolf of Wall Street

THE CONSENSUS: Guys will get a kick out of the party vibe, but gals might grow weary of the "boys will be boys" stuff.

STARRING: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler

DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese

THE SKINNY: Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) loses his job at a brokerage firm but finds success selling penny stocks with pal Donnie Azoff (Hill). Thy start their own business and adopt a decadent lifestyle that attracts the attention of FBI agent Patrick Denham (Chandler).

RATING: R21

MARS

jjohnson@sph.com.sg

This flick has taken an awful lot of stick, and I think I can see why.

It was apparently intended to be a takedown of Belfort and his ilk, or at least that's what the film-makers claimed.

After watching for myself, it's pretty clear that Martin Scorsese is enamoured of this guy. He's always loved gangsters.

With its suits, cars, hair cuts, babes, yachts and 90s bling, The Wolf Of Wall Street only succeeds in stirring the lust and greed of the viewer.

Or at least it stirred MY lust and greed.

DiCaprio is at his most charismatic here, and if they'd wanted Belfort to come across as venal, there are a lot of less magnetic performers they could have gone with.

The real-life Belfort is a great-looking guy, but he also reeks of douchebag. He lacks DiCaprio's charm.

Those scenes where the actor fires up his men like a drill sergeant won't deter anyone from taking up a career in finance.

On the contrary.

As with Michael Douglas in the seminal Wall Street, DiCaprio's performance is perversely inspirational.

Not judging. Just saying.

VENUS

crobert@sph.com.sg

It's three hours of my life that I will never get back.

Despite an extremely high appreciation that people might reserve for Martin Scorsese and his films, this, to me, was a waste of time.

The 179-minute production depicted the life of US motivational speaker and author Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), a former fraudulent high-roller with serious drug addictions.

It also details how he made most of his money after he founded his brokerage firm with real-life partner Danny Porush (called Donnie Azoff in the film and played by Jonah Hill).

Adapted from Belfort's memoir, this is a very visually detailed depiction of how Belfort accumulated his millions and blew them on drugs and prostitutes.

It is accentuated with unnecessary yelling (also known as tough-man motivational talks), before he rats on his friends and then gets indicted for securities fraud and money-laundering.

Yawn.

If Scorsese had cut back on half of the unnecessary trash talk that DiCaprio had given, it probably would have improved the story.


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