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Gavin Grades The Movies

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Well, this might be one of the cheesiest titles for a sequel ever.  I literally rolled my eyes when I saw that title come up at the end of the great trailer for this a few months ago.  The good news is that it's a lot better than its namesake.  This is a sequel to the 1987 Wall Street by Oliver Stone.  The original is a classic film that properly captured what was going on in the '80s in the upper crust of society.  It also gave us the villain, Gordon Gekko, that was played by Michael Douglas and remains his best performance to date (possibly only rivaled by his performance in Falling Down).  The movie won him an Oscar and was nominated for several others.  However, it's been 23 years since it shined a spotlight on the moral short-selling of America by the Wall Street elite.  Which made me think, "Did this really NEED a sequel?"  The answer to that is actually "yes" and "no."   Yes because writer/director Oliver Stone (JFK, Any Given Sunday) felt that in the years since the first one that our financial system has actually become the super villain it never was when he thought it was bad in '87.  He's right too and why he didn't need Gekko to be the bad guy in this since the system itself takes his place.  But don't worry, the movie doesn't get too political although Gekko gets out of jail on the eve of 9/11 as creepy iconic foreshadowing, and the film takes place over the time period that straddles the Bush and Obama administrations, when the economy was at its worst and bailouts were being handed out like coffee at an AA meeting.  It won't lose you in the politics but it will lose you in the maze of Capitalism.  It's over the heads of most of us but not to the point that it's no longer entertaining.  But it also didn't need a sequel because the two films can stand alone as their own separate movies.  You don't need to see the first one to enjoy the second one, but it certainly helps in the enjoyment.  (My friend Kirk didn't see the first one all the way through and still loved it.)  Douglas is fantastic as Gordon again although he's not as devilish and this time he's joined by Shia LaBouf, Carey Mulligan (An Education, Public Enemies) and James Brolin (No Country for Old Men, W).  The cast is strong and very impressive in their performances.  Oliver Stone appears to try to go back to his roots with the more stylized directing that we grew to respect him for.  The problem with the film is that it seems to have gone through too many focus groups.  There appear to be two endings; the first one is great and ends the way I would've wanted it too and the second ends the way a Hollywood studio would prefer...sh*tty.  Was the ending enough to ruin the film for me?  Not at all but it did lower it's stock market share price. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps  (Rated PG-13) Gavin Grade: B

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09/23/2010 6:08PM
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
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09/23/2010 6:51PM
Gekko Battles Cigar-Chomping Banker in `Wall Street’ Sequel: Rick Warner – Bloomberg | B
[...] End Online » Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps [...]
09/25/2010 5:02AM
Ed Rockland
Gavin, would be interested in your take on Winter's Bone... we saw it the other evening and thought it was one of the best movies we'd seen this year; Jennifer Lawrence, the lead, was outstanding as was the rest of the cast... a great view of Ozark hillbilly culture.
10/02/2010 6:52PM
Various people all over the world receive the home loans in different creditors, because that's easy and fast.
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