Comments on watching and making films.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wall Street 2 - Money Never Sleeps

Sequels that are made just for money often times end up being slap dash and horrible. Fortunately, at least in my opinion, Wall Street 2 - Money Never Sleeps, was not made for money, but rather to continue the same themes but put into the context of the current financial climate. The first film was about pure greed and the way that it was affecting normal people. This film is about the same kinds of greed, except, instead of affecting the employees of a small airline company, this Wall Street disaster effects the entire economy of the United States, as well as the lives of its protagonist's, soon to be married Jake and Winnie (played by Shia LeBouf and Carrie Mulligan).

Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas reprising his role from the first film) has just gotten out of prison and is looking to rebuild his empire. When Jake Moore, a hungry, but successful Wall Street wiz kid's firm begins to meltdown during the housing crisis of 2008, he looks to Gecko to be a mentor and tries to reunite Winnie, who just so happens to be Gecko's daughter, with Gordon, in exchange for the chance to be Gecko's right hand. Gecko, however, always has a few tricks up his sleeve, and, while he loves Winnie, he knows that gaining her forgiveness and trust back is almost impossible. Money, however, even in times of panic and insolvency, can always be made. You just have to know who's backs to step on.

I'm not an Oliver Stone fan. I don't care for most of his work, but I did love the original Wall Street. I had high hopes for this one, and, while it didn't quite hit the same mark as the original, it was still a great film. Douglas is as slimy as ever, and LeBouf finally found a great fit in the fast talking, fast thinking Jake. Carrie Mulligan feels criminally underused in this film. I would really liked to have seen more with her, but, you get what you get. Josh Brolin, as a take no prisoners banking executive, brought on the pain, and played the type of role he's best at - the relentless bully. The film will leave you thinking about the current financial climate (at least, as of 2010), and will hopefully, in coming years, leave audiences to think about, and question, the way that they do business with banks and investment firms, and making sure that they are really paying attention to what they are doing with their money and with their signatures.

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