Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Michael Douglas reprises his role as Gordon Gekko in this entertaining sequel. While his name is above the credits, his role is secondary to that of Shia LaBeouf, who steals the movie as Jacob, a hungry young financial "player" who tries to balance his financial lust with his love for Gekko's daughter, Winnie, played by Cary Mulligan.

Oliver Stone once again directs but while fun, the film doesn't have the impact of his earlier work. There are far too many tracking shots of Manhattan trying to emphasize how the city is the center of the financial world. The acting for the most part is good, although Cary Mulligan is miscast as Winnie. Josh Brolin makes a very good villain and Frank Langella is impactful in a small role.

What really shines is the script. Even if you are not a financial "wiz", the story is easy to follow and laced with terrific dialog. However, I did have a problem with two plot points. When we first see Gekko, he is being released from prison. The film then jumps 8 years to 2008. That makes sense as the story is set during the worst financial collapse since 1929. However, we never understand how Gekko climbs back and learns to navigate in the new digital financial world. My other problem is understanding why Winnie would be attracted to Jacob in the first place, since she abhors everything about her father's world.

"Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is a decent investment of your time. And yes that was a bad pun but it's also a key theme of the film.

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