Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Wolf of Wall Street Review - 2 Stars

I really looked forward to Martin Scorsese’s epic about Wall Street greed.  Based on the memoir of convicted stock con Jordan Belford, Leonardo DiCaprio goes from innocent to wild man in the space of a few thousand dollars commission.  He begins on Wall Street with a firm that goes under in the crash of ’87, only to move to Long Island and start his own boiler room penny stock firm.  He develops a “Script” to push stock to the greedy over the phone and the money starts flowing.   Jonah Hill joins him and together they manipulate stocks, break the law, launder money, and spending outrageous amounts on prostitutes, drugs and trophy wives.  Hill especially shines in his best friend role. DiCaprio has a great partnership with Scorsese and has made many great movies with him.  But something misfires in “The Wolf of Wall Street”.  After watching an hour of excess, Scorsese follows with a second hour of excess and then piles a third hour of excess on top of that.  About ninety minutes in, I wanted this guy to change or get caught or do something beyond what Scorsese continues to show us.  Finally The Wolf gets caught, goes to jail, gets out, and finds another scam.  This beautifully acted epic falls under its own weight.  You leave the theater with relief rather than admiration.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Three hour greed-fest.  Is it entertaining?  Funny at first but exhausting toward the end.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Major disappointment.