Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) Review

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) Review

Static Mass Rating ★★★★

Release Date: Oct 6th, 2010
Certificate: 12A
Running Time: 134 mins

Director: Oliver Stone
Cast: Michael Douglas, Shia Labeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon, Frank Langella

It’s been 20 years since Wall Street first introduced us to Gordon Gekko and his “Greed, for the lack of a better word, is good” mantra. Now in a new era, greed is not only good, it’s legal.

Having spent 13 years in prison for his crimes, Gekko tries to step back into a world which has moved on without him. No one knows him, no one remembers him. No one cares. In order to try and gain their attention again, he’s written a book ‘Is Greed Good?’ At one of his talks is Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf). Fascinated by everything there is know about Gekko, he also happens to be dating Gekko’s estranged daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan). Jacob it seems has everything Gekko used to have.

Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps

After receiving a hefty $1million bonus from his boss Lewis Zabel (Frank Langella) at his firm Keller Zabel Investments, stocks plummet sending everyone into a panic. When the banks refuse to bail out Keller Zabel, another one moves in and buys them out for next to nothing. It marks the beginning of the end for the economy. Jacob is convinced there’s more to this than it seems and Gekko offers his help if he agrees to arrange a meeting with his daughter. As Jacob tries to get father and daughter to reunite, he has no idea what Gekko’s ulterior motives are until it’s too late.

With Michael Douglas returning as Gekko and Oliver Stone as director, the main ingredients for an unmissable morality tale were already there. Fellow Academy Award® winner Susan Sarandon stars as Jake’s money hungry mother who can’t stop buying and selling real estate and Charlie Sheen appears in a brief cameo. Despite all of those, Wall Street 2 just doesn’t seem to work.

Where greed and excess defined the 80’s, our current era is defined by information and while the film touches on some things such as websites, viral software, stats and instant messaging, it just doesn’t take it anywhere. Money might have made us greedy in the 80’s, but today’s its information and ideas sold to us through advertising and social media which makes us greedy. It would have been interesting to see Gekko’s daughter become the villain and how that would have affected him; watching her rise and then fall from a greater height than he did. Gekko seems lost throughout the movie, unsure of what he really wants and there’s never a moment where something is in real jeopardy for him rather than an inconvenience.

There’s much more that could have been done with this follow-up, but as it is, you get much more out an episode of the Apprentice in less time than Wall Street 2.

One Response to “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) Review”

  1. leeandfong Says:

    Hunt out the original Alan Loeb screenplay and see what a masterpiece this was supposed to be.
    All of that clean-tech energy maguffin wasn’t there, Gekko was steely eyed and dangerous and the story was incredible.

    In the original story, instead of all the mopey family drama, the Loeb script sees Bretton ruin Zabel’s bank so he can buy it himself with TARP funding to cover the toxic assets.
    But when he finally gets the bank, it turned out that Zabel was Bernie Madoff and his whole bank was a ponzi scheme. Breton is ruined.

    Of course Gekko had already realised that Zabel’s bank was a ponzi scheme and used Winnie’s $100m to buy his own bank and short Bretton, waiting for the imminent collapse. The story ended with Bretton ruined and Gordon Gekko living in Dubai as the richest lonely guy in the world. It’s a friggin awesome script and can’t recommend it highly enough; it’s what this movie should have been.

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