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The Wolf of Wall Street

Since 1987’s ‘Wall Street’ burst onto screens, money-men have increasingly become cinema’s villains.  Instead of guns, they brandish mobile phones while wearing slick designer outfits.  Wall Street is their play-ground with money their constant drug.  ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ explores a man’s lust for dollars and the trappings they bring.  Director Martin Scorsese mixes this enticing brew to become one of his best recent works.

 

Stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) dreams of making it big.  Desiring more money, he teams with financial whiz Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill).  Establishing a brokerage firm, they entice the trading community to use them to cut dubious Wall Street deals.  Enjoying the trappings of the high-life, greed soon becomes their undoing.  Investigated by the FBI, they plan on hiding their wealth by any crooked means possible.

 

Based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ story is one of excess.  Belfort and Azoff ensured they lived in complete decadence at the expense of those for whom they handled money.  Their ways reflected Wall Street’s fast paced allure with their skills at feeding off the greed of investors second to none.  This in turn fed into their own greed for drugs, sex and endless partying. 

 

Scorsese ties these elements together in one very long but amazingly rendered package.  The viewer is driven head-first into Belfort’s fast-paced existence which would seem improbable had it not been real.  Even at its most extreme, Scorsese injects believability with the incredulous reactions of those surrounding Belfort understandable.  It’s like a ramped up version of ‘Wall Street’ with DiCaprio’s power-house performance more than match for Michael Douglas’ famous role.

 

‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ is the type of full-on film Scorsese used to make.  It’s great seeing he still has that critical and wicked film-making streak setting him apart from his filmic compatriots.

 

Rating out of 10:  8

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