I’m glad to see another strong comedy for 2013. If I had to choose between Wolf of Wall St and American Hustle, it would be tough.
While there was some drama in Wolf, the bulk is a drug and alcohol induced debauchery run for a team of crap security salesmen, made opulent and entertaining in a style only Martin Scorsese could accomplish; meticulously constructed and visually overstimulating.
The dialogue and timing are sharp and fast. The f-word is dropped every f-ing minute of every f-ing scene but anything less would not accurately portray ethically bankrupt NYC stock brokers in their native habitat.
The usual suspects in this film were great; DiCaprio very convincingly playing yet another charismatic leader doomed to a predicable rise and fall. He seemed to be giving 150% in this role since his timing was spot-on in delivering humour, sarcasm, encouragement, and anger, just like a New Yorker. My bad, a f-ing New Yorker.
For me the surprising show stealer was Jonah Hill. Maybe it was the big white teeth he was sporting or maybe it was the clap-on, clap-off ethical lens he applied. As DiCaprio’s henchman he walks the line between being college dork and corporate hammer with delivery that, in spots, overshadows DiCaprio. The on-screen dynamics between Hill and DiCaprio work exceptionally well, almost to the detriment of the other characters.
While the film is a very entertaining 3-hour ride from start to finish, there are some heavy questions raised. We see the propensity of the investing public to fall victim to these so-called experts dealing in crap. We already know the inevitable meltdown resulting from of this kind of greed and obfuscation.
But, have we learned enough not to reenact history?