Consigliere’s review published on Letterboxd:
Martin Scorsese achieved success in the 90s with his bleak yet funny crime-dramas Goodfellas and Casino. The Wolf of Wall Street is basically a modernized take on the same recipe.
DiCaprio has prior to this already been associated as Scorsese's replacement for De Niro. It isn't before this though that we literally can say that for sure. Jordan Beltford, apart from actually being a real person, reminds me of both Henry Hill (Liotta obviously) and Sam Rothstein. In addition to this Scorsese also seems to have found a replacement for Joe Pesci, as Jonah Hill here takes the role as the fat and funny comrade.
Scorsese has this time taken a dive among the greedy investors on wall street. It is insofar a new scenery, but the storyline and the message is basically the same. It deals with the same themes about materialism, greed and superficial happiness, that leads to the same bleak and warning conclusion. It is after all based on a true story, and Scorsese might have been the perfect director to make a film about Jordan Beltford, but Scorsese and co really should have asked themselves if this movie really is necessary.
The first part of this movie though, is pure fun. It isn't before the second part that it starts building up towards the common crime-drama message. The Wolf of Wall Street isn't, inequality from Scorsese's previous crime dramas, filled with guns and killings. Instead it is filled with sex, drugs and naked women. The first part is actually quite entertaining as it is a fine and funny depiction of a man's journey towards success and happiness.
This film can also be seen as Scorsese's previous works for the new generation. While Goodfellas and Casino really had that 90's feeling, Scorsese have actually done a great job at adjusting this towards the present. Scorsese really shows expertise about Hollywood, and proves that he still in 2014 follows the development of the scene. The Wolf of Wall Street is a great example of Hollywoods humor and style as of today.
Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street is basically a step back for the well-established director. He shows expertise about the current Hollywood scene, and manages to adapt to it, but thematically this is something we have seen many times before. It is nevertheless a fun flick, so even if you know Scorsese's previous works, chances are that you will have a fun time watching this.