S2S Goes to the Movies: ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’

    Gordon Gekko has been released from prison to find that greed is legal and his daughter is getting married in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.







    Gordon Gekko has been released from prison to find that greed is legal and his daughter is getting married in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

    Twenty-three years ago Academy Award-Winning Director Oliver Stone made a movie that was light years ahead of it’s time about an uber capitalist and the pitfalls of having too much of a love for money and greed. The film was called Wall Street. 

    Michael Douglas, who stared as the relentless Wall Street tycoon Gordon Gekko, won an Academy Award and became an overnight legend for his iconic performance. Gordon, who said "greed is Good", is arguably one of the greatest and most influential movie characters in film history. He’s inspired those all over the corporate ladder from stock broker wannabes to Jay-Z, who has called himself the real-life Gordon Gekko.
    Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the sequel to the 1987 film, begins with Gordon being set free from prison after serving a lengthy sentence for insider trading. Upon his release, he spots a limo pulling up and thinks it’s for him, but it happens to be for a rapper instead. My how things have changed. 

    While Gordon took center stage in the first Wall Street, he is just a supporting role in the sequel. The follow-up focuses on Jake Moore (played by Shia LaBeouf), a young trader whose investment firm collapses after not receiving a bailout from the government. This puts young Jake on a mission to take down rival Bretton James (Josh Brolin), suspected to have a hand in the collapse and in the suicide of Jake’s close friend and mentor, Louis Zabel (Frank Langella). Jake also plans to marry Gordon’s estranged daughter Winnie Gekko (Carey Mulligan).
    Gordon, nowhere close to the greedy sociopath corporate raider he once was, has been reduced to giving lectures for money and promoting his book appropriately titled Greed Is Good. Jake finds a mentor in Gordon as the two become close, much to Winnie’s displeasure because she mainly blames her father for her brother’s suicide.
    The films backdrop is centered on the 2008 economy meltdown with an inevitable recession. The cast of talented actors brought their A-Game, but the movie is all over the place with too many story lines. Oliver struggles to fit a lot of important information about the economy into the film’s two-hour-plus running time. He doesn’t totally succeed as his message is clearly to inform the general public about what’s been happening on Wall Street the last few years and how the housing meltdown happened. 

    Unlike the first film, there’s really nothing groundbreaking here. In fact, much of this info has been plastered all over TV, newspaper and the Internet. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps would really make for a phenomenal weekly cable series on HBO.
    Overall, though, we liked it and would still recommend it. The acting is top notch and Michael steals every scene he’s in. 

    Grade: B – 



    — Datari Turner




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