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Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Wolf of Wall Street: A Fun Ride Up Until the End

Jordan Belfort's The Wolf of Wall Street book must be a scream. I remember browsing the title a few years ago, but got distracted by something else, probably not Margot Robbie, who plays Leonardo DeCaprio's trophy 2nd wife. Nope, I could never be this tone deaf and drug-addled as this Wall Street bucket shop story lead is throughout.

The premise is easy: man goes to Wall Street; guy learns bad habits on Wall Street from ; guy gets dumped off Wall Street; guy finds he can make it, on his own version of Wall Street with all the addictions and money to support his growing addictive habits. The legality of it, well, that's dependent on how long he can go on doing crazy and illegal shit, pumping and dumping, before the SEC or FBI nab him and his merry band of derelicts-make-good.

It's funny as hell, if your a man that lacks excitement in your life. Women, not exactly a PSA for marrying a stock jobber that is pressure-selling stocks for all those pricey commissions. These guys are Animal House, type-A with insecurities a magnificent mile long paved over with greenbacks and tons of blow. Even though a few ladies are working in this egomaniac-driven world, we don't get to see them search for crazier drugged out ways to spend obscene amounts of cash.

To get through a workday is all about the drugs you use and the quantities you pump them in to get the next deal done, or the next hooker off. Sometimes the separation is just an elevator ride between. Time is everything to these Masters of the Universe wannabes.

It feels like one criminal blur on screen - of very amoral decisions that keep on being rewarded until the Virginia farm boys (FBI) start a hounding. Then, Belfort takes to inviting them up to show off his lobsters and his women and his legal knowledge about bribery. FBI man (the once-too-nice-of-a-guy Kyle Chandler) plays along. Belfort, and his less than intellectually brilliant, but extremely codependent drug partner (fabulously played by Jonah Hill), just don't get it. 

They just play on. They go out of their way to do more crime. Make it international. Have really no compass - lost that back in the 1980s, if they had it then. And are willing to destroy all those around them, as the ugly truth hits hard at home for Belfort. Not even hot trophies want to go down with the ship of fools. They know the cash is out and the jig is up.

And so, the Wolf is finally at bay. He did some country club time; and came back to life akin to Michael Milken, as the successful motivational speaker. Yep, would you do 22 months for his wild life? 

If you asked 100 men without families, or great looking and morally supportive wives, you'd get 75 yeses. You'd be able to sell it - the stock life, and the pen (penitentiary), too. 

3 hours of DiCaprio looking the part of a sex, drugs, and money addicted conning genius that lost his way ---for 22 months. The Wolf howls.

 
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