Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, greed still ain’t good
I’m not a fan of unnecessary sequels, especially of ones with such terrible titles (really 20th Century Fox, a tagline? Might as well have added a 2 after “street”). Plus, I really enjoyed the first one and what it was preaching: the consequences of excess.
But now 23 years later, we have a sequel to a film that didn’t really need one, for a character who had already received his comeuppance. I guess director Oliver Stone thought Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), the character infamous for saying “Greed is good,” needed a second chance. Now Gekko sets up to use his daughter’s stock broker boyfriend Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf) to reconcile with his daughter (Carey Mulligan). But Gekko is still as slimy as ever.
I’ll admit I have a soft spot for Shia LaBeouf. He has a presence on screen that could really be taken somewhere if only he did not settle for being a part of these mediocre sequels. Michael Douglas portrayed Gekko excellently and with as much ambiguity as to whether we could trust him as possible. The only weak link was Carey Mulligan. Lovely Mulligan’s character was short-changed serving as a secondary character who really only gets manipulated by the two men in her life. Mulligan did the best she could with the material given. Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon and Josh Brolin were pretty stellar in their supporting roles.
The film plays out a bit cartoonish and gimicky with computer animated montages that look a bit ’80s (but maybe that was the point). The financial jargon was a bit too much for me at times, but never enough that I stopped paying attention. For its faults, the movie’s main idea still holds true even 20+ years later: greed still ain’t good.
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