Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Review
Joseph's Rating: 6/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 6.7/10
(3 reviews total)
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a film I will recommend, but with reservations. The stories it has to tell are interesting, but it may be too ambitious in trying to tell us too many of them.
Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf) has “the hunger,” as his boss Louis Zabel (Frank Langella) informs him. Jake’s got it all, a promising job at a nice firm, a healthy 1.5 million dollar bonus, and a pretty fiance in Winnie Gecko (Carey Mulligan). He’s got confidence in spades, and decides to invest the majority of his bonus in his company stock. This is 2008, right before the financial collapse. You see where this might go. Bad things happen, and Zabel, having been forced to sell his company to Bretton James (Josh Brolin) for a pittance, jumps in front of a subway train. Jacob plots revenge against James for inducing his mentor’s suicide.
Around this time Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas) is several years out of prison and enjoying modest success with his new book, “Is Greed Good?” The title itself would seem to indicate a change in him since the first Wall Street, in which he seemed pretty confident that it was. Jacob attends a seminar held by Gekko, and grabs his attention by sharing the fact that he’s to wed his daughter. The form a mentor-protege relationship, and in exchange for reuniting Gekko with his daughter, he will help Jacob grind his axe against Mr. James.
All these relationships, Jake and Gekko, Jake and James, Gekko and James, Jake and Winnie, Winnie and Gecko (you get the idea) make for a story that, while it does work on film, perhaps may have been ideal for a season of television, where each one could be given the time it deserves. As you watch it, you feel that each one is competing with the others for screen time.
In spite of that, the movie is quite enjoyable. The performances are top-notch. It’s always good to see Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko, capitalism’s biggest supporter. Here he effectively plays Gekko as an addict whose been good, but just might slip if someone dangled his vice before him (that would be money). His presence is so powerful that when he’s not there, you wish he was. The rest of the cast performs as one might reasonably expect it to, given who it consists of. I particularly liked Brolin, whose character is more closely aligned with Gekko from the first film.
“What’s your number?” Jacob asks his new boss, Bretton James. “Everybody has a number, a set amount of money that once they hit, they’ll leave the game and just go play golf for the rest of their life. What’s yours?”
His response tells all: “More.”
There are a few bits in the film that will cause fans of the first to rejoice. Charlie Sheen does have a pleasant cameo as Bud Fox, and his exchange with Gordon is priceless. (“What do you think Gordon, does Blue Horseshoe still love Anacott Steel?”)
Money Never Sleeps doesn’t touch the first, but it’s still an interesting tale of individuals navigating the stormy financial climate of today’s America.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Written by Allan Loeb
Directed by Oliver Stone
Starring: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin, Frank Langella
Other Player Affinity Reviews
"After a long and respected career, Oliver Stone has finally made a sequel and it was for a film that is 23-years-old. A film about the banking collapse and the people who are responsible for the mess we are all in is timely and Stone is a man who should deliver it. To anyone who is interested in finance and economics Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
is a must see, to everyone else, you have excellent acting from Michael Douglas, Josh Brolin and Carey Mulligan to hold your attention. Shia LeBeouf is growing as an actor, there are flashes of talent, but he is still a bit wooden at time. While Stone does try to make a stylish film, it is hard to watch Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
, with computer-generated sequences feeling forced. Plus, most real stock trading now is just people staring at numbers on a screen, with few interactions between real people. Gordon Gekko is best when he turns into the character we know and love (or hate depending on your view point)." Rating: 6.5/10
Simon thought: "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
falls into that rare category of films that are entertaining for no apparent reason. Not much happens, the plot is convoluted and stock market analysis is right up there with watching paint dry in terms of kineticism. Yet despite some utterly unnecessary Tony Scott-esque flourishes, this follow-up is engaging from start to finish and makes mostly great use of its talented cast. Douglas is still a treat to watch on screen and having him back in his iconic Gordon Gekko role is nothing short of Christmas morning. LaBeouf and Brolin round out some fiery supporting work as Gordon’s new muse and an oily Wall Street man respectively. If there is a strange fault to be found it is in Mulligan’s winey Winnie as after her incredible work in An Education
I was expecting more from the young Brit (although the material very likely could have failed her). Like W.,
Oliver Stone has a knack for delivering movies nicely in line with their relevance to the time, and with the financial meltdown still fresh in many people's memory, some scenes may hit home harder than is appreciated." Rating: 7.5/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 6.7/10