Now out of prison but still disgraced by his peers, Gordon Gekko works his future son-in-law, an idealistic stock broker, when he sees an opportunity to take down a Wall Street enemy and rebuild his empire.
As the global economy teeters on the brink of disaster, a young Wall Street trader partners with disgraced former Wall Street corporate raider Gordon Gekko on a two-tiered mission: To alert the financial community to the coming doom, and to find out who was responsible for the death of the young trader's mentor.Written by
Eminently watchable cast and captivating subject matter .
The claim that this sequel is purely a cash-grabbing endeavour couldn't be more off target. Oliver Stone has knocked back script after script for possible follow ups to his 80's classic and it's clear throughout Money that he has put his heart and soul into a story that he has felt worthy of sharing the Wall Street moniker. Stone, as always, is over indulgent at times, but there's no denying his passion in making a Wall Street for the new generation. "Greed is good" may have been the ostensible motto of the first film (in fact the connotation was the exact opposite, but many easily-strayed, quixotic viewers took it at face value) however there's no chance of missing the point this time around, the message is loud and clear: greed, for lack of a better word, is not good.
It's a shame then, that the Platoon director is too caught up in decorating the absorbing content with unnecessary visual flair. Whether it's to appease the MTV generation or simply because the 64 y.o. filmmaker is becoming more compromising in his methods, the TV-style scene separators that Stone employs – a whirring 24 hours in 30 secs landscape shot, digital financial figures weaving through the city – are completely unwelcome. Then there is the motorbike race at the end of the second act. How this dreadfully misplaced sequence didn't get excised in the editing suite is mind-boggling. These little hiccups tot up over the runtime and get increasingly frustrating, becoming a major detriment to this otherwise decent movie.
The return of Michael Douglas to the role that garnered him an Oscar over two decades ago was always going to gain the majority of anticipation and he doesn't disappoint. He portrays the supposedly penitent Gekko as a man who is just as self-aggrandizing as he was 23 years ago, but with the newfound characteristic of subtlety, if not humility. Having said that, it's Shia LeBeouf who makes the greatest impact. The Transformers star has already demonstrated he's a genuine acting talent in the lesser seen A Guide to Recognising Your Saints and The Greatest Game Ever Played, although this is his first shot at a mainstream drama. LeBeouf's natural charisma is challenged by a vulnerable side we've not seen in any of his previous roles and it's a leap he handles with ease. He may yet be one of those rare actors who can effectively segue between huge movie star and terrific thespian.
The eminently watchable cast and captivating subject matter guarantees cinematic satisfaction, even if its dampened by Stone's persistently needless visual flourishes.
3 out of 5 (1 - Rubbish, 2 - Ordinary, 3 - Good, 4 - Excellent, 5 - Classic)
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