Danny Webster’s review published on Letterboxd:
The one thing that struck me most about Jordan Belfort was not addictions or his excessive lifestyle but how much I can compare him to Adolf Hitler. He is a fascist prince of darkness, whose own polluted mind (polluted equally so by Donnie and co.) further poisons those who work for him. They live in his dictatorship; and they discriminate in this case, the poor.
He also happens to be one hell of an orator; his fraudster personality not only masks his dullness and general incompetence but deep inside there is a somewhat intelligent person. This seen early on; really early on, before he becomes the party-animal he eventually does become; during the scene with the show-stealing Matthew McConaughey he seems to be a reluctant yet intelligent person who just wants to earn a little bit of money; even before that, he kisses his first wife with a seeming affection. He loves his wife here.
And that's my biggest problem with this film; there's not enough of pre-fucked up Belfort which for me just nullifies any effect that his fucked-up behaviour could have had. Had I started to like his character, or at least understood his relationship with his first wife; that he could have loved her, that he might have actually given a shit beforehand, I might have felt more inclined to feel sympathy towards a character who deserves none. A person whose vile objectification not only make me want to punch the handsome face of Leonardo DiCaprio; but it made me want to yell at Scorsese, his satirical stance is great and I enjoyed it; but THREE hours of passionless, degrading and basically Scorsese telling us that Belfort's vices are terrible are not enough for me. I get what he's saying, Belfort is leading a bad lifestyle and he's dragging others with him. But at no point do I feel like his bad lifestyle results in anything massively bad and terrifying. I don't want to sound condescending here, but I suppose I'll have to; some people watching this will be encouraged by this lifestyle; they'll cheer at the wrong times, they'll cheer Belfort, they'll want Belfort to escape any sort of punishment and they'll happily be one of his employees if offered lifestyle is real.
Belfort doesn't suffer because he simply doesn't care; he did not love either of his wives, he didn't really care about anyone else, he didn't suffer much, nor does it seem like he ever will and his idea of making love as illustrated in a particularly interesting scene, is a twelve-second thrust-a-thon which is in fairness, pretty pathetic.
My Belfort comparisons with Hitler are a little exaggerated; I mean, Hitler is probably the single most evil man in history, yet I feel certain similarities refuse to escape me. Belfort was and probably still is an evil incarnation of excessive and repugnant manhood. He's the worst character and person you could ever meet, and he still manages to be as charismatic as even the most charismatic man.