Valdosta Daily Times


January 1, 2014

Movie Review: ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ is howling good


VALDOSTA — Movie Review: Sylvester Stallone, also known as Rocky Balboa, returns in another boxing film. This one is an entertaining but mild comedy directed by Peter Segal (“Tommy Boy,” 1995; “50 First Dates,” 2004).

The last time Henry “Razor” Sharp (Stallone) and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (De Niro) boxed was in 1984. Thirty years later, they prepare to fight again because of a quick-talking promoter, Dante Slate Jr. (Hart). Sharp and McDonnen are older now, but they are determined to show the world they can still fight. More importantly, they have a score to settle with each other. McDonnen slept with Sharp’s girlfriend, Sally (Basinger), three decades earlier. Plus, each man’s only boxing loss was to the other, so they also want to settle the question of who is a better boxer this time.     

The best jokes for this comedy happen during the end credits. The ones before fall flat often. This is not because the actors do not try. They are a talented group, yet they deliver the jokes with little energy.

Only one player delivers his lines with energy, Hart. The problem is that he is playing his usual self. He plays the same character in every film, as if he’s on stage doing stand-up routines. An over-played process, Hart quips with Arkin, whose lines appear repetitive otherwise. Their lines are funny, but the men do not always deliver them with potency.

De Niro and Stallone are believable as older men returning to the ring. This is a good feature. They inspire laughs, and the plot becomes emotive. Too bad, a number of the jokes do not work for a comedy with this much talent in it.    

Grade: C+ (Fun but no knockout.)

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