I think you're misunderstanding Doyle's point. I think you're over-emphasizing the word "important" and just running with it. Also, I think this is a film that panders to that whole dark tv show watching crowd, and they take certain criticisms of Wolf more personally because this film flatters them and to dismiss the film's justification to be douchey would mean the viewers then are susceptible to douchey things, which is what the edgy tv show-watching crowd hate the most.
I don't think I'm misunderstanding Doyle's point, but as the quote is that brief, of course I'm running with what he is saying. The biggest criticism toward the film has been that those characters are not interesting enough to warrant the attention given to them, as if that's not a viewer's choice. It reminds me of the Raging Bull criticisms about Jake LaMotta, back when those characters weren't usual in movies: "why would I care about a cockroach like LaMotta?", and Scorsese's response, "because he's human". As Kal said, the fact that all this is based on a real human being who thinks and behaves like that, who made this and prevailed, and was even rewarded for it, it forces you to question how can a person like that come to be, what system or society creates these people, and how did we get here? who are we? Sometimes I look around, not sometimes, more like everyday, I'm baffled by the obsession with riches and consumerism in our society, how everyone's aspiration is to become rich, make money quick, and show it with cars, clothes, parties. I see this mentality all around me, all over the socioeconomic spectrum, starting with the old rich families, passing through the "nouveau riche", to the middle class, to the lower classes; each on it's own way, but under the same empty ideals. The so called american dream, or more universally, the idea that money is what matters over all other things, has evolved into this scarface / hip hop video mentality where is better to die than be less than a millionaire. morals come last. concern for others is nonexistent. I see this in my country, where crime has risen absurdly, cartels filled with kids who get paid little money, but love to drive the cool cars and show the money around, and then the girls around them, who are the same. And this film illustrates all this perfectly, even better, it shows the whole system as corrupt, not from crime and laws, but from a life philosophy perspective. By the end everyone is guilty.
I don't have a clue what you're saying regarding this dark tv crowd the film supposedly panders to. How this film flatters it's characters or people like them or who want to be like them truly escapes me. this is the second worst criticism the film has received. the panoramic view of the film and it's characters by the end is one of moral hollowness, of brutal, animalistic victim-predator reality with no foreseeable escape. do you think the film flatters this behavior and people because it plays their realities for laughs? where does it flatters these people? there's this weird notion going on basically saying that art should be like a punishing teacher, morally reprehending audiences for liking something, for laughing at things, for enjoying the ride. I suppose the film would be a hit with that crowd if instead focused on someone who got his life ruined by belfort, and as a drama, not as a comedy that ridiculed that guy, because then it would be mocking him, and it would be morally irresponsible. "12 years in debt", what about that? "stealing is bad and it's no fun". I suppose that would be interesting.
the subject of moral decay in the capitalist world, represented in the idea of greed and money while looking the other way, is one of scorsese's most prevalent themes: bringing out the dead, casino, kundun (by presenting an opposite philosophy), gangs of new york, the aviator are all films that deal with this basically as it main subject. and now this one. I not only believe is a worthy subject, but is THE SUBJECT to deal with when observing the world of the first years of the 21st century, there has never been a time when humans know so much of what they're doing wrong and at the same time pretend the damage is not there for them to act on it, and this film touches on that very nicely I think.