run time: 180 mins
considered: Biography, Comedy, Crime
starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Kyle Chandler, Matthew McConaughey, Rob Reiner, Jon Favreau
– Before you read this review, you should just log off your computer, drive to your local theatre, and buy a ticket to this movie if you haven’t seen it yet because it’s that awesome!
movie summary: Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government. (www.imdb.com)
The Wolf of Wall Street starts out in probably one of the most controversial ways possible which could leave a sour taste in the mouth of some audience members, but be prepared this is only the beginning. We are introduced to Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), one very rich guy who can have anything he wants despite the fact he already owns everything. He owns a mansion, a couple of cars, a yacht, a helicopter, has a beautiful wife and all the money he could want. Jordan may be smart in terms of selling stocks and making money, but is very stupid when it comes to spending it and what he does in his free time. He has a drinking problem, snorts crack all day long, and has a sex addiction problem. His extravagant life wasn’t always this perfect or mess up (depends on how you see it) so the movie lets us see both his good and bad life decisions.
Jordan lived in New York City and dreamed of making money for his wife and two kids. He became a stock broker with Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey) for a firm on Wall Street. Hanna takes Belfort out for lunch to give him the survival tips on how to make it in such a cut throat business. On Black Monday, October 19, 1987, the firm that employed the two men goes under in the stock market crash which leaves Belfort without a job. After no luck on his job search he comes across an ad to sell penny stocks which he decides to look into. During his first day on the job he sells thousands of penny stocks to customers making 50% commission on each sale.
Fast forward a few weeks later when he’s rolling in the dough, dressing for success, and driving a nice car, he meets Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill). Together the pair start the stock broker firm Stratton Oakmont with the help of Belfort’s drug dealing friends. The firm grows to be one of the most powerful and richest companies on Wall Street in the early 1990’s. Most people would be envious to work at Google or Apple but Belfort offers a very unique work place setting. On any given day there are strippers in the office, there’s always an unlimited supply of drugs to take, and company parties are extremely wild.
Having all this money and power always draws the attention of the wrong people, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Belfort believes he is invincible and untouchable, but doesn’t know how to tone his lifestyle down to keep out of the spotlight. Soon FBI agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) is hot on his trail waiting for the right moment to catch him doing something illegal and bust him. At this point in his life Belfort’s substance abuse is out of control, his marriage is falling apart, and his company is under microscope surveillance. Eventually in an attempt to move his money to over sea accounts he gets busted by Denham and the FBI, but will they have enough evidence to put Belfort away or will he cut a deal to save his lifestyle and fortune.
my thoughts: I honestly didn’t know this movie was labeled as a comedy because this is one of the year’s funniest movies. Yes, the laughs come at the expensive of heavy drug and alcoholic abuse but DiCaprio and Hill do some crazy stuff. The two funniest parts have to be when the pair are flying to Europe and when they pop a bunch of expired Lemon Pills in Belfort’s house. Their interaction and chemistry is worth the price of admission all on its own. People will say this is the ultimate guys movie because of all the naked women and booze one can imagine, but remember this is based on a true story! I’m sure some of this story was embellish to run the film’s run time to 3:00 hours but with only a few slow parts this story will keep you entertained.
my star rating: 8 out 10