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Home Reviews Cinema reviews Why The Wolf of Wall Street would be better with real wolves
Why The Wolf of Wall Street would be better with real wolves Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Monday, 27 January 2014 18:21

The Wolf of Wall Street. That's what you expect when you go to see The Wolf of Wall Street: a wolf. Sure enough, within five minutes a lion has wandered through the corridors of Stratton Oakmont and within 30 minutes, a roomful of brokers are chanting "Wolfie! Wolfie!" at the top of their lungs. But is there a real wolf? Is there heck.

It turns out that Martin Scorsese's film is, instead, about a metaphorical wolf: a bloke called Jordan who doesn't even have big ears or scary teeth. The result, you might think, would be a little bit dull compared to what it could have been. You'd be partly right.

Here's The Wolf of Wall Street with real wolves:

Leonardo DiCaprio is sensational as the despicable lead, motivating a room and manipulating morals with a shameless grin - and even better dance moves. Jonah Hill is great as his loyal, unquestioning sidekick, whose ambition is almost as big as his glasses - but nowhere near as big as either of their drug addictions.

Margot Robbie is equally brilliant as Jordan's wife, as much a fan of his illegal moneymaking as he is. A self-made man, Jordan builds his own empire; the epitome of the modern American dreamer.

But while there are stand-out moments (a country club sequence is hilarious), three hours of not very nice men treating women in not very nice ways gets a bit, well, samey. Scorsese shoots drugs like a 17 year old, not a 71 year old, but once you've seen one slow-motion snorting sequence in Belfont's house, you've seen them all. Seeing 50 of them, then, soon gets old.

By the time Kyle Chandler's FBI agent gets his turn in the spotlight, it's surprising to realise you don't really care what happens - the prospect of another hour is daunting rather than exhilarating. When you put it alongside Filth, which not only managed to make James McAvoy's bastard engaging but also told a story in 97 minutes, this just feels like overkill.

The Wolf of Wall Street is not bad, by any means. But after Goodfellas - and 30 odd feature films - it's a little bit dull compared to what it could have been. Like American Hustle's similarly superficial takedown of 21st Century tricksters, The Wolf of Wall Street is a perfect performance (and a bravura piece of production design), but a far from flawless movie.

You'll spend 180 minutes surrounded by drugs, money and women - and half of them wishing there was someone to give a damn about.

Well, that and a few wolves.