The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
By Jeffrey Kieviet
Sex, Drugs, & Inspirational Speeches
The thing about The Wolf of Wall Street is it’s an hour too long. But it is so full of awesomeness, I’m not sure what could be cut. An hour of the film is dedicated to naked women, more naked women, and Leo’s butt (and I think if you look really closely, you can see the guy from The Artist’s nutsack [Jean Dujardin]). Another hour is drugs; just mindless, gluttonous, obscene amounts of drugs. Think Scarface if Tony Montana had a drug problem. And the other hour is the actual plot of the film: making money (out of nothin’ at all).
So Martin Scorsese is sitting there with 3 hours of stuff he loves, what the hell is he supposed to get rid of? You can’t get rid of any of the boobs, especially those of Leo’s wife (Margot Robbie), who looks like a Barbie in human form; seriously, it is ridiculous how surreally impressive this woman’s naked body is. And the drug use is so tied into the life of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) that to not acknowledge all the coke and Quaaludes would be dishonest, and a disservice to the film. Is it a spoiler when you ruin something that happens right after the opening credits? Regardless, the movie opens with Leo blowing cocaine into a woman’s ass with a straw. This is how it begins; it only gets more serious from there. I get it, you’re saying remove the scenes of plot, the character development, the long speeches Jordan Belfort gives to inspire his troops to make fat stacks of cash. And, while Leo talking and sweating into a microphone may not sound as exciting as a butthole full of blow, but the dude gives a masterful performance and keeps you interested in the film, even when there isn’t any T&A or reckless drug use on screen.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with long movies, although now that I think about it I can’t think of anything nearing 3 hours that’s a personal favorite. The Lord of the Rings movies convinced me not to go see The Hobbit when that trilogy came out. 300, was that 3 hours? Anyway, the newest Hunger Games movie clocked in at a little over two and a half hours, and I never noticed the running time. The only complaint I have for The Wolf of Wall Street is that it felt like it was 3 hours long. It was still an awesome movie full of all the stuff this deprived Breaking Bad fan has been lusting after since Walter White… did stuff in the series finale. I’m not gonna spoil that show for you, and if you haven’t finished watching it yet, you’re a waste of the taxpayer’s money and a drain on my grandmother’s social security.
Anyway, the movie is 3 hours of sheer badassitude. It just feels long. To point out a couple other shining moments (aside from the fine chesticles of the leading lady), there’s a moment where DiCaprio & Jonah Hill (playing the comedic relief; a real stretch for the skinny kid from 21 Jump Street) take too many drugs. And believe you/me, I do not say “too many drugs” lightly. They then laugh & yell at each other with all the incoherent chutzpah of a couple boys who found the magazines hidden under the mattress of their father’s bed. The real performance, the most amazing 15 minutes of cinema I saw in all of 2013, is Jordan trying to get into his car during this insanity. If I ever audition for a Quaalude popping addict, I know the physical monologue I will perform.
To jump back to Jonah Hill, the kid does a good job. I know he’s all about the Money Ball, Oscar bling and trying to overcome the obnoxious fat kid that made him so popular in the early years, but he does make his character funny, fascinating, and fucking awesome. Oh, B-T-Dubs, the movie is also full of profanity. But every actor nails their role, and they’re all intriguing archetypes of social greed and excess. I recently saw Jonah Hill on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and he said (and I’m paraphrasing) that he really wanted to play this character because he understood what a parasite this wretch was, what a plague to humanity these types of people are, and he wanted to show us all how fucked we are.
But here’s the thing: at no point during the film do they ever present the cataclysmic psychotics of these people’s lives as a negative. All the drug use, all the infidelity, all the lying and greed, there are little to no repercussions. Sure, there are a couple years in prison and a few million dollars of judicial fees, but it is all worth it! I know these people suck, I hate these people in real life, but I would gladly give a couple years of my life for that type of lifestyle. So maybe I’m the fucker after all, I’m the parasite on life, but if you show me a movie where a guy buys a ridiculous boat, names it after his obscenely attractive wife, then sinks it because he’s a BAMF, I’m going to want to be this guy. Now all I’ve got to do is find a way to sell millions of penny stocks to foolish fools with money.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Paramount & Universal Pictures