I have mentioned before that director Oliver Stone seriously thought about retiring after Natural Born Killers. That movie took so much out of him (and I think the previous JFK did also in the aftermath of that film), that he said: "I don't think I have another one in me". At that time I thought he was crazy. But looking back at what he has made since NBK. Maybe not
Stone's new film has 3 maybe 4 good scenes and all of them were in the trailer. The scenes of the release of Gekko are well done and set up for a nice premise. But it all just falls apart. Or it really never gets going. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps fits perfectly in the new Oliver Stone trend. Before 1994, his films were raw, edgy and a little rebellious. World Trade Center, W. and Wall Street 2 all have the appearance of politically engaging or hard-hitting films. But they are not. Tame would be an understatement. Pleasing would be better. Oliver Stone has lost his will to fight. He's got bills (probably a big house, swimming pool, alimony and stuff). He just wants a job and please the studio and the audience. It almost looks like he doesn't want much hassle with his films after they come out.
Wall Street 2 is such a disappointment I don't know where to start. Maybe the biggest let down was in the smallest amount of celluloid: the cameo of Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox. His character Fox was a character we could relate to. Especially in his scene with his father Martin Sheen. But his cameo was so wrong, so out of place, so not Bud Fox, it diminishes the entire first movie. Bud Fox is now Charlie from Two and a Half Man.
Let me go on with the characters: The successor of Bud Fox is now Jake Moore, a kid who doesn't blink when he gets a 1.5 million dollar bonus. Off course, in the banking industry this is normal. So, it is authentic that Jake doesn't flinch. His girlfriend has an Iphone, does something with a website but other then that they really don't have to work for a living seeing the house they live in. Live really has no challenges left for these two. So maybe that why Jake has such a hard on for his 'Green Project'. But I'm just guessing here. Bud Fox wanted to be filthy rich, he wanted to be a player. Jake Moore doesn't want anything. And we should watch for him for 2 somewhat hours
Josh Brolin, the actor with the single most dangerous look in Hollywood, comes off as such a whiny boy. You do not believe he is the successor of Gordon Gekko. One or two times Shia LaBoeuf's character Jake Moore went head to head with Brolin and I couldn't help but think: "This is so unbelievable. Brolin's character should clock this spoiled brat right on the nose". If anyone can tell me what value or what message I should take from the motorcycle-scene: you can e-mail me.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps misses edge, a believable script and ditto characters. It is a missed opportunity at best, and a total failure if I am really honest. It demises it's classic predecessor, has a weak script where the cutthroat mentality in the banking industry is played out in such a cliché manner. Josh Brolin is grossly underused. Shia LaBoeuf is overplayed, because he's not that great an actor. Not as a serious adult anyway. But that's Stone's fault. Charlie Sheen isn't a great actor, but 20 years ago Stone could direct him in a way that made him believable. That Oliver Stone is no more, as you can see with the awful cameo of Sheen. The problem for this sequel is that it totally diminishes the first film. It takes all the good things from the first film and throws it out. What's left is chewed up, spit out and rehashed. Money never sleeps, but the audience does.
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