Welcome to the first edition of Movie Mondays! I’ve been wanting to start this feature for about a year. I’m not sure what stopped me, but it might have been my laziness. See, it’s a point of pride for me to make a graphic when I introduce a new feature, even if it is a shitty one (and let’s face it, it usually is). I’m sure someone else is doing Movie Mondays, because the alliteration is just too good to pass up, but these are Movie Mondays on Reviews and Cake and what else are you going to do on a Monday?
I’ve been meaning to watch The Wolf of Wall Street for ages, but I missed it when it was in theaters and then it just sort of never happened. I finally sat down and watched it years later, and I have to say I’m a little disappointed. I think my biggest problem is that the movie is exactly what I expected, but not in a good way. There was nothing really new or innovative about it. Of course not every movie needs to be new or innovative, but if it isn’t, it needs to shine in other categories. But it doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong; the cinematography is very polished, the acting oscillates between adequate and great, and the story is okay. It looks as it should, but nothing surprised or moved me in any way. If your main character isn’t likeable, your story needs to be interesting, especially for a three hour movie.
I’m not going to give you a summary of the plot, because you’ve probably already heard about it and, really, there isn’t that much to talk about. Poor guy gets rich, is a complete douchebag, gets into legal troubles, and continues to be a douchebag. There’s a lot of nudity, sex and drug use in the movie. The point of this is to show the excess the characters live in, but… I got the point after the first few times. There’s one scene, in which Jordan Belfort – our main character – takes stronger drugs than even he is used to and we see the whole thing in vivid detail. This was the only scene that at least managed to kind of move me insofar that I felt pity for the character and admiration for the acting. There are no interesting female characters that get more than a minute or two of screen time. The character which the movie does focus on – Jordan Belfort – has no redeeming features. This would be fine if we at least got to understand him, but I never felt like I got more than a shallow insight into the inner workings of his mind.
The Wolf of Wall Street is not Scorsese’s best work – it’s not even Leonardo DiCaprio’s best work. It attempts to be a psychological profile of a man’s affair with greed, but never manages to get further than mediocre softporn. The movie’s only redeeming features are Matthew McConaughey (because Matthew McConaughey) and the fact that it does at least manage to evoke pity for the main character in one or two scenes. It takes itself far too seriously for something that adds nothing new to the discussion.