Review – The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

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the-wolf-of-wall-street-52a38085694bdWelcome to day four of DiCaprio week, and today we’re covering The Wolf of Wall Street. Darn you, DiCaprio, I promise there are shorter ways to make a movie! Now, there are several reasons why I’ve never seen this flick. First and foremost, it just didn’t seem like my type of thing. The complexities of stocks and bonds can be confusing, I know I can’t connect with the main character because I sort of hate money because it does things like this to people, and also…it’s long, y’all! So let’s talk about what this movie is even about.

Alright, so this film focuses on DiCaprio, as he is playing a stock broker. When the stock market crashes, he needs a new job. Oddly enough, he finds penny stocks, which are stocks that haven’t made it big enough for the big leagues yet. Doesn’t matter to him, though, as he uses his extraordinary selling abilities to sell these trash companies to the top 1% of rich folks. This is considered stock fraud, and throughout the movie, he starts to realize in order to keep his money, he’ll have to do some more crime.

So, in case you were unaware, this film was indeed based on a real story. With true stories, I mostly don’t care about the movies unless the actual story is unbelievable. Can I believe that a bunch of people got so money-crazed that they saw themselves as invincible and just did a bunch of criminal activities? Yeah, that’s very believable. The reason why I’m not always a fan of true stories is that the pacing never really feels like a movie. It just goes on and on and on without any real goal. Let me tell you something. Making more money is a goal, sure, but there is no end goal. There’s nothing specific you want to see happen because the story just doesn’t ever end.

Personally, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this movie but I can respect it for everything it did right. That’s why we break things down. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, my friends.

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PEOPLE SCORE – 9/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 1|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 2

First off, we’ll cover the people in this film, which is one of the highest-rated categories in the film, so this was definitely done right. There are a lot of people in this movie, and they all do a pretty remarkable job at expressing an impressive range of acting abilities. Almost all of the characters are pretty memorable, but at the same time, I have a hard time believing nobody else could’ve been cast in these roles. Maybe DiCaprio, fine, but the rest of the cast COULD have been other actors and still maintain how memorable it is. Everyone adds to the plot in their own way, and they all work together perfectly.

WRITING SCORE – 6/10
Dialogue – 2|Balanced – 0|Story – 1|Originality – 2|Interesting – 1

Next up is the writing score. Given the often fourth wall breaking in the film, I’d happily give the dialogue a 2/2 score, as that is kind of memorable, but I wouldn’t call this a very balanced story. The movie goes on and on, and there’s a bunch of characters in a bunch of settings, so I’d sort of considering it over-convoluted. The story itself is mostly weak, but there is an important message in there about the dangers of money and addiction, even though it’s joked about. I would say it’s mostly original, and slightly interesting…but not by much.

BTS SCORE – 9/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 2|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1

Once again, behind-the-scenes gets a pretty decent score, and I’m sure a big reason for that is because of Martin Scorsese. I do consider him to be a very good director. This IS a very visual-focused film. So,  a lot of the shots in this film would look great if you just randomly paused the movie in different parts. The directing, thanks to Scorcese, is pretty decent. I don’t think it’s a very balanced story, but Scorcese is able to take it wherever he wants in a very satisfying way. Likewise with the editing, which is mostly focused on when we have DiCaprio narrating things.  I consider it as-advertised, but the music is nothing I’d buy a soundtrack from.

NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 8/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 1|Falling Action – 1

Let’s see if I can get this right. The introduction has us meeting innocent DiCaprio with money on his mind. The inciting incident is probably when he starts his job with the penny stocks and changes it to sell it to rich people. The obstacles is more about making money and getting away with it when it’s unlawful, but the climax for me was anticlimactic. It’s mostly just more of the same when it should be something bigger than the rest. The falling action was sort of there, but there was so little focus on it that I couldn’t give it full points.

ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 2/10
Rewatchability – 0|Fun – 1|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks Audience IN – 1

As I mentioned before, I don’t really consider this an “entertaining” movie. It does a few things right, technically speaking, but I wouldn’t care to see it again, I wouldn’t want to buy it or talk about it, but I guess it IS fun and sucks the audience in during certain scenes, so there is that…I just don’t think that’s really enough.

TOTAL SPECIAL – 30/50
Money – 10|Comedy – 5|DiCaprio – 5|Length – 0|Halfway Decent – 10

Alright, so here are the questions I asked before seeing the movie. I expected it to deal a lot with money, which is what the movie is mostly all about, so that got full points. It is labeled as a comedy, though, which I didn’t really sense. Sure, it had some sarcasm, and the overall way the stock brokers operate and talk to each other is strange enough to be humorous, I just never once laughed while watching. Not even a subtle chuckle. As for DiCaprio’s career, would I mention this as one of his best movies? Most likely not. I might mention it because others would, but there are too many other movies I’d place above this. I also knew it was 3 hours long, can I sense that? Way too much, so that doesn’t get any points. Finally, was it halfway decent? I believe it was exactly as it sought to be, so I definitely say it was “halfway decent”

Rating – 64/100

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