Nerd Is Good
I mean “Greed” is good. I’ll never be as cool or as rich as Gordon Gekko, and I’m completely okay with that.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Starring: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin
Directed By: Oliver Stone
When Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps I was pretty apprenhensive about it. Regardless of the fact that I had forgotten that it was on my Netflix que, this sequel to the classic 80’s movie that introduced us to Gordon Gekko (arguably Michael Douglas’ best role) was released more than twenty years after its predecessor.
I will totally admit that I was expecting this movie to be the same as the original, just with Shia LaBeouf in the Charlie Sheen role. Boy was I wrong. Instead, we start in 2001, with Gekko being released from prison for insider trading and security fraud involving stocks. The film then fast forwards to 2008, right around the time of the big stock market crash. We’re then introduced to LaBeouf’s character Jake, a young man working for a investment bank. Recently he’s been trying to get money to help fund a fusion energy source project, and it’s not going well. Oh, he’s also dating Gekko’s daughter, Winnie. This relationship basically serves as the main plot point of the entire movie, with LaBeouf seeking out Gekko after his mentor commits suicide after the collapse of the investment bank that he ran. He believes that Bretton James (Josh Brolin), a rival investment banker, is the reason behind the bank’s collapse. Oh, James is also the guy who helped bring evidence against Gekko that put him in jail. What follows is Gordon attempting to reconcile with his daughter, while also advising/tempting Jacob with the tricks of the stock market trade.
Whew. If that seemed dizzying, it kind of is. The movie’s 2 1/2 hour run time crams as much in as possible, which makes this movie feel like both the second and third movie of a trilogy put into one. Unfortunately, despite this long run time, Gordon Gekko isn’t in much of the movie. While I’m well aware that he’s not in much of the original Wall Street, he is the film’s major selling point, so you would think that Oliver Stone to showcase more of his evil, slimy persona. The cast does the best they can, and do a really good job, but even they seem to feel that they are struggling to keep up with the plot of the movie. Fans of the original movie will probably get a kick out of seeing Gekko shill his book and a great cameo from a recent tabloid star from the first movie, but those who have little to no knowledge of the original film probably won’t see what all the fuss is about.
3 1/2 Gordon Gekko cigars out of 5