Steve G 🇵🇸 🇾🇪’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Wolf of Wall Street isn't a film I particularly enjoyed, and not because of the usual reasons with a film this length of it just being too long. It's just not very good. At all.
It's a long celebration of complete twats making money that they haven't earned and snorting it all away or popping it with a glass of champagne aboard their yacht with their helipad on top. Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't think we should see this film as a celebration of lives of excesses and capitalist money hoarding, but what the fuck else am I supposed to think this is?
Oh, because there's a few minutes at the start where a chest-beating Matthew McConaughey takes him under his wing after some other dude swears at him in his early days on the job? Because he has a.... *gasp* ....middle-class background? The poor impoverished bastard! Because there's a serious bit, TWO HOURS AND 35 MINUTES INTO THIS FILM, where DiCaprio gets told by Margot Robbie that she wants a divorce and goes on a cocaine-fuelled violent rampage?
Oh fuck off. At least have the slightest idea what you've made here or at least be honest about what you've made. It's a get-rich-quick seminar for the slightly less privileged. That's all it is. And like every single film I've ever seen about the stock market and stockbrokers, I didn't understand almost any of it. Martin Scorsese presumably wants us to understand how easy it was to become rich. Sure. Of course it is. If you're a privileged boy from a settled, middle or upper class family who has had the background where he can understand how these things work.
These films never want to let people out of the loop in on the deal though, do they? Scorsese's film whizzes through Jordan Belfort starting up his company but never actually spends any time explaining how they made their money. Just how they spent it. How they responded to suddenly having money. It never bothers at any point going into any detail about any of this.
There's no substance here at all. It's not an exaggeration to say that the vast majority of this film is just one long orgy of drugs and swearing and fucking. And I'm not saying those are bad things at all, especially the latter two. Although these days I'm far more familiar with the swearing more than anything else. The thing is that it's not very entertaining to me when there's almost nothing else going on here, and there really isn't.
It's even less entertaining when there's so much of it, for so long. It's not really as if it's trying to be that funny most of the time. Aside from the admittedly VERY funny scene where some drugs kick in for DiCaprio at the country club, the rest of the time it's just an endless presentation of some stuff that may (or may not) have happened. There's no point to any of this.
I don't deny that part of my problem with The Wolf of Wall Street is that I really hate stockbrokers and that I don't care about any of these cunts. I just want them all to lose their fucking jobs and in a lot of cases just die because I don't see how they serve any good purpose in the grand scheme of things. That would make for a more entertaining film for me, but it takes more than a surprise Joanna Lumley appearance in a Martin Scorsese film to get me on board with something. The performances are all great but who fucking cares.
But hey, I at least sympathised with Rob Reiner because I loved The Equalizer as well.