After the recent financial collapse, people wanted Oliver Stone to do a follow-up to his hit from the 80’s. With the issue still being a hot topic in the political world and hot off the heels of his last political slap in the face, W, Stone takes on his already conquered victim, Wall Street.
In 1987 Gordon Gekko told us how greed was good, and well his speech was true and moving. Twenty-five years later he is back behind the podium teaching a whole new group of recruits about the insanity of the financial system and how greed is practically legal, again sad but true.
In this well written and directed sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Gekko is released from prison alone and with no one waiting for him. His son deceased from an overdose and his daughter, Winnie, disenchanted from his charms and looking to get on with her life without him, Gekko is forced to re-evaluate his priorities.
Winnie is played by the charming and beautiful Carey Mulligan and she approaches the role with such grace and humility that it reminds the audience of proficient actresses that have decades of work under their belts. Love him or hate him, Shia LaBeouf who plays Jake Moore reminds everyone why he is one of the most sought out actors in Hollywood. These two make a perfect team and their characters really suffer through the main struggle in this new drama.
After the beginnings of the economic collapse, Louis Zabel takes his own life after the collapse of his financial firm. The genesis of how this happened has roots in another firm. With the help of Gekko, Jake aims to take revenge for the death of his mentor, while Gekko uses Jake to get close to his daughter.
The beauty behind both the original Wall Street and this new sequel is that of Gordon Gekko’s character. While not the protagonist, he plays both a mentor, an enabler and an antagonist, yet still seems to hold the central piece of these films. He is a master manipulator with all of the world’s perks and even the keys to the finest things in life that have no price.
Fans of the original Wall Street are going to be more than pleased. Charlie Sheen reprises his role as Bud Fox in a fun cameo scene that will only make sense to those who have watched the original. Aside from that scene, the movie stands alone and does so extremely well. Rarely will you see a film in theaters that accomplishes this feat. It’s a great film that both types of audience members can go and leave with similar experiences and yet have so much to talk about after.
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and thematic elements.