Martin Scorsese's 1980 boxing drama "Raging Bull" secured his status as one of American cinema's greatest director's and brought us a gritty no-holds-barred look at life that came to be hailed as the best film of that decade. Thirty-three years later and at the extreme opposite end of the scale, he has brought us the worst film of this still young decade with the offensive and interminably lengthy debauchery of "The Wolf of Wall Street."
The nearly three hour movie is based on the true story of crooked stockbroker Jordan Belfort. His knack for selling worthless stocks at exorbitant fees with bogus claims sees him rise from bottom rung nobody to king of his own brokerage empire. Scorsese's go-to guy Leonardo DiCaprio plays Belfort with much profanity strewn shouting at the top of his lungs. The currently ubiquitous Matthew McConaughey appears long enough to advise him to masturbate and use cocaine often, drink heavily and never be concerned with his clients' welfare if he wants to make it on Wall Street. DiCaprio's Belfort subjects his audience to all of that and more along with-in-your-face unapologetic narration.
The movie plays like a modern day "Caligula" yet its most shocking aspect is how uninteresting and pointless it proves to be in spite of all it's despicable human behavior and almost non-stop usually public sexual activity. It's neither funny nor cautionary nor do we ever see Belfort get his comeuppance. Nearly all the scenes seem like an extended version DVD and go on far too long, particularly in the one with DiCaprio and Jonah Hill rolling around in a drug induced state and in the too numerous speeches Belfort gives to his staff. A drawn out and unnecessary to the story interrogation scene with Belfort's butler also suddenly erupts into a spray of graphic violence as though Scorsese had to satisfy his mob movie penchant. It's inexcusable for this team of high caliber talent to try to sell us this slop under the guise of art.