Movie Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps stars Michael Douglas, Shia LeBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Josh Brolin, and Charlie Sheen and is part II of the 1987 hit film Wall Street. This one takes place in 2008 after the release of Douglas’ character Gordon Gekko from prison for insider trading and securities fraud.
LeBeouf is Jacob Moore, an up-and-coming prodigious economic mind planning to marry Gekko’s daughter, Winnie (Carey Mulligan). When Moore’s mentor, Lou Zabel (Frank Langella) commits suicide based on false information from one competitor, Bretton James (Josh Brolin), Jacob seeks an opportunity to even the playing field.
Meanwhile, Gekko wants a second chance at being in the life of his daughter and future son-in-law, but Winnie fears he hasn’t changed and is still a devious opportunist who will bring them to ruin along with himself.
The continuation of Wall Street, once again carried on the wings of director/producer Oliver Stone, is brilliantly cast, with performances on all fronts that will not disappoint. And despite its finance-based theme – a thing as interesting to some of us as Lou Dobb’s Moneyline, which one would think would have left some of us in the dark – takes off with an alluring focus that captures its audience, taking second place only to the Oscar-worthy performances of LeBeouf and Mulligan, not to forget Langella who charges the story with a somber sobriety that cannot be missed.
It is only the regrettable ending that loses its balance with a hastened conclusion that wraps up the whole affair in a package too tightly bound, and in a way that doesn’t seem to stay in harmony with the expected reactions of the characters. The plot takes several turns that keep the audience guessing until the end, which could have made it a flawless film had it not lost direction.
No doubt a more economically well-read audience than critics like myself will be even more anxious to overlook these flaws in light of the film's well-packed running commentary on the world's financial situation today.
Grade: B+ (3 ½ stars) Recommended!
Rated: PG-13 (for intense situations, language, and adult themes)
Director: Oliver Stone
Summary: Emerging from a lengthy prison stint, Gordon Gekko finds himself on the outside of a world he once dominated.
Starring: Michael Douglas "Gordon Gekko," Shia LaBeouf "Jake Moore," Josh Brolin "Bretton James," Carey Mulligan "Winnie Gekko," Eli Wallach "Jules Steinhardt," Susan Sarandon "Jake's Mother," Frank Langella "Louis Zabel"