Douglas is back in his Oscar-winning role as Gordon Gekko, whose iconic Greed is good mantra and daring corporate raids made him a rock star of financial titans. Emerging from a lengthy prison stint, Gekko finds himself on the outside of a world he once dominated. But a young, idealistic investment banker (LaBeouf) learns the...more
Douglas is back in his Oscar-winning role as Gordon Gekko, whose iconic Greed is good mantra and daring corporate raids made him a rock star of financial titans. Emerging from a lengthy prison stint, Gekko finds himself on the outside of a world he once dominated. But a young, idealistic investment banker (LaBeouf) learns the hard way that Gekko is still a master manipulator and that today more than ever, money never sleeps. less
“Though it doesn't touch the lofty heights of the original it still manages to stand firm on its own. A must watch!”
Director Oliver Stones follow-up to his gritty 1987 critical and commercial hit, 'Wall Street' is quite a fascinating beast to behold albeit only in parts. Overall it lacks the same vicious bite that the original had when creating a bridge between audiences and a financial world that was being stripped of its glamor before them for them to behold it in all its naked ugliness. In current times however, the world is well aware of this ugliness thanks to an overzealous media and somehow even the recent scams when exposed onscreen hold little in terms of shock-value. The one thing that works very well in the movies favor is the human factor.
The players behind the scenes and individual characters give such convincing performances that you'd rarely doubt their intentions or psyche. Not to say that this movies some sort of documentary about the 2008 global stock-market meltdown but it tries hard to dramatize the events while juggling plenty of sub-plots and themes at the same time.
The plot kicks off in the year 2001 where Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is released from prison. It then jumps to the year 2008 where Jake (Shia LaBeouf), a young banker in an old firm headed by Louis Zabel (Frank Langella) is an up & rising star. Hes blissfully unaware of the looming financial meltdown about to hit American markets first and then the rest of the world. When it does begin, Louis's firm is the first to get hit and he takes it pretty hard. Jake tries to extract revenge from a rival, Bretton James (Josh Brolin), whom he believes to be responsible for it all. Jake's also in a live-in relationship with Gekko's estranged daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan). How Jake goes about trying to extract revenge from Bretton with help from Gordon while at the same time trying to mend bridges between Gordon and his daughter forms the crux of the tale.
The first half of the movies especially loaded with technical jargon that most of the time ended up flying right over my head. However Gordon Gekko's lecture was quite the opposite and other than being enjoyable was also immensely entertaining. Like I mentioned before, the frailties in us as human beings and our constant desire for more is again the most fascinating aspect of the tale. The ability of people and institutions to take action without thought to repercussions and consequences is in form an eye-opener and a warning to not allow something like this to happen again. Yet we are all so mixed with the system that its difficult to pull ourselves out. The movie might be morally very judgmental and not very subtle but Oliver Stone like always drives home his point about greed perfectly.
The acting by the entire cast is simply flawless. Michael Douglas is still the charming yet immensely cunning Gordon Gekko we saw 23 years ago. Some of his lines are simply to die for, especially a line about 'bulls, bears and pigs', even though picked from someone else, is still is assured to put a wicked smile on you face. Eli Wallach similarly has a priceless little monologue about the impending financial meltdown and how everything would be affected.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps has good intentions and an ambitious plot that works brilliantly in parts. The acting & characterizations make up for the unfocused narrative and loose plot-threads left in the weak climax. Though it doesn't touch the lofty heights of the original it still manages to stand firm on its own strength.
Gordon might say Greed is good, I'd say Oliver Stone makes it look ugly like never before.