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
I wouldn't go as far to say that a Wall Street sequel was "long overdue" but it was more or less necessary due to the open ending of the first film. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps takes place more than twenty years after the events of the first film. Gordon Gekko is now getting out of prison after serving an eight year term for trading insider information. He meets a young Wall Street broker named Jake Moore, who is also his future son-in-law. He sees Jake's ambition and decides to aid him in his climbing of the Wall Street ladder. But, as would be expected from the sly Mr. Gekko, he has other intentions and we see almost a repeat of the first film, just set in the future coinciding with the 2008 stock market crash. It seems unoriginal but I think the only reason it works is because it is a fairly intriguing alternate reality take on an event we all witnessed.
This film starts out promising enough. Seeing Michael Douglas reprising his role as the infamous Gordon Gekkos is pleasing and putting his character in these modern times is interesting, as he is now no longer a huge name on Wall Street, and there are now crooks way more greedy than he ever was. The introduction of all the new characters is also interesting. Shia LaBeouf plays his eager young Wall Street fast talker role fairly well, not as well as Charlie Sheen from the original, but it's not bad. Carey Mulligan is as beautiful as ever and does a great job as Winnie Gekko, Gordon's daughter. Frank Langella even has a brief role as an older stock broker who doesn't have anything left to live for after the crash. However, great performances can only take a film so far.
What Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps suffers from the most is just being really boring. It starts out so interesting and promising, but as the plot develops it eventually stops going anywhere and flat lines. This film doesn't help out the non-stock broker types like the original did. You have to know the lingo and you have to understand how Wall Street works and you need a lot of back story on the 2008 financial crash. I myself understand these things to a certain degree, but this film just moves too fast and doesn't let you keep up with the lingo and the fast talking. And so once you get behind you're behind for the whole film. I understood enough to follow the gist of the plot, but I also think that it is just too dull of a plot to really be that enticing whether you understand it or not. For a film that is over two hours long, it really goes nowhere after a certain point.
This isn't a terrible film, but it just doesn't really amount to much. There are some good things about it, like all the performances as well as Oliver Stone's direction. He pulls off some slick editing that gives the film a more technologically hip feel to it. If the film had kept with this same pace from start to finish it probably would have been a lot better. But when you boil it down there isn't much to see here and your mind moves right along as soon as the credits role.
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