Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
With Shia ‘Transformers’ LaBeouf in the lead role I was a bit worried I wasn’t going to like this film. I was scarred for life after seeing Transformers 2 at the cinema. Was I going to be able to get past his acting and enjoy the movie? Luckily for me the lengthy ongoing therapy has been working wonders and my memory has for the most part been cleansed of Transformers 2. It took a good 20 minutes into the film but I got past it, and Shia was actually pretty good.
Set in 2008 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is Oliver Stone’s sequel to his 1987 film Wall Street. I’m sure you figured that out from the film’s title right? I’ve had the original Wall Street on my ‘Must See’ list for a while now. When I found out I was reviewing this I made sure I did my homework and watched it the first chance I got. In this film Michael Douglas reprises his role as the dodgy Gordon “greed is good” Gekko, the insider trading villain of the original. After a long stay in prison Gekko has had time to think and is a changed man. Authoring a book warning Wall Street of the error of their ways and a coming stock market crash. No body believes him, why would they. Being 2010 we obviously have a bit of hindsight on our side so we know that he’s right. The main story revolves around Shia’s Jacob character, a whizz kid Wall Street trader. Jacob is in a relationship with Carey Mulligan’s (An Education) Winnie Gekko, the estranged daughter of Gordan Gekko. Winnie blames her father for her brothers death so won’t speak with him and hasn’t seen him in years. Jacob goes behinds Winnie’s back and gets in touch with Gordan. In exchange for some Wall Street revenge against Josh Brolin’s (No Country for Old Men) Bretton James, Jacob agrees to help Gekko rebuild his relationship with his daughter.
I thought that the cast was strong overall. Carey Mulligan was convincing and very good in her role. It was a tough ask but Shia just about redeemed himself for his acting in the Transformers movies. Brolin was also good and a believable bad guy. Michael Douglas was of course, Michael Douglas. There was also a welcome appearance by one of the characters from the original which brought cheers from audience of the screening I was in.
Director Oliver Stone also used some interesting techniques with his visual effects, camera focus, transitions and ‘24’ style split screens. Not quite ‘Natural Born Killers’ interesting but still notable none the less.
Not quite living up to the original but overall I thought this was a solid enjoyable film. If you enjoyed the original then it’s a risk free investment of your time. If you haven’t then it’s still a safe bet. It’s not essential but if you have the time I’d recommend hiring the original first to get a bit of background. Both are good films and well worth watching.
Reviewed by: AceVPD
Release date: 23/09/2010
Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Michael Douglas, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin, Susan Sarandon
Length (Minutes): 133
Director: Stone, Oliver
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox