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WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS

Movie review by David Blackwell

 

133 minutes, rated R

ASPECT RATIO:  1.85:1

STUDIO:  20th Century Fox

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  9-24-2010

 

STARRING Shia LaBeouf (Jake Moore), Michael Douglas (Gordon Gekko), Carey Mulligan (Winnie Gekko), Frank Langella (Louis Zabel), Josh Brolin (Bretton James)

DIRECTED by Oliver Stone

WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS starts eight years after Gordon Gekko went to jail for insider trading.  He is released from prison to find no one is there to greet him.  Flash forward to 20008 when he is selling his book, Is Greed Good?.   He wants back into the game and he takes advantage of Jake by saying he wants to get to know his daughter again.  He offers Jake advice on an old enemy of Gekko’s.  Gekko feeds on Jake’s need for revenge while Gordon is also settling his own score.   Will Gekko have a change of heart?  Is he a changed man or is he just in it for the game?

 

WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS is an overlong meandering sequel to the original WALL STREET.   Douglas slips back into Gekko’s skin, but sometimes you wonder if the writers know what to do with him.   Douglas could read a phone book and he would be watchable.   The sequel does get the tone of what happened when the housing market fell apart and the banks had to be bailed out.   It just that WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS wastes the relationship of Jake and Willa.  Their relationship and how it intertwines with Gordon Gekko plays out like a soap opera.  Winnie cries and complains a lot while Shia (as Jake) probably sees this movie as his chance to work with Oliver Stone and Michael Douglas.  Jake seems like an idealist who believes in a company that is developing laser fusion powered by sea water, but Wall Street greed could get in the way of that dream.   Also Winnie is a writer for a non-profit liberal news website. 

 

The sequel plays out its welcome by at least 20 to 30 minutes.  The film juggles several plotlines while dragging everything out sometimes at a snail’s pace.  It first tries to be about the banking crisis before switching to a revenge plot (juggled with a guy who is trying to get money for the company he believes in).   Once the housing market bubble burst, the film is struggling to find its footing again as Stone shouldn’t have let this film run on for over two hours.   The ending feels like a tacked on happy ending while the sequel sometimes feels like a parody of the original.   The supporting actors are having way too much fun (like the old guy who whistles a lot).   The film doesn’t use Gekko enough.  Where exactly does Moral Hazard figure into this film?  How does it apply to Gordon Gekko?     He is like a puppet master pulling the strings and it would have been so much interesting to watch Gekko instead of the relationship between Jake and Willa.    Greed isn’t good enough as the sequel feels like 20th Century Fox shouldn’t have made the sequel or at least invested in a better sequel.   If this is the last film (or one of the last films) Douglas is ever in, this isn’t the film to remember as Michael’s swan song (because he is fighting cancer).   This sequel makes you wonder whether Douglas was trying to make a good film or a film that might grab a few Razzies.   Maybe this film just isn’t for those who don’t absolutely love the first film or some of Oliver Stone’s overlong films.

 

This movie review is 9-25-2010 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com