Greed is back and it’s as good as ever.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is the sequel to the 1987 hit that made “Greed is good” a household saying. A good plot, strong performances and timely debate makes this film almost as good as the original.
As the global economy teeters on the brink of disaster, a young Wall Street trader (Shia LaBeouf) partners with disgraced former Wall Street corporate raider Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) on a two-tiered mission: To alert the financial community to the coming doom, and to find out who was responsible for the death of the young trader’s mentor.
Gekko is trying to reconnect with his daughter (Carey Mulligan) and does seem like a changed man after his time in prison. The supporting cast is top notch. Josh Brolin plays the villainous corporate raider, although he is no match for Gordon Gekko. Susan Sarandon, Frank Langella and the amazing Eli Wallach (he turns 95 in December!) have strong turns in small roles. It’s a shame they couldn’t do more.
LaBeouf and Mulligan seem a little out of place. He looks too young to be an up and coming stock broker. She lacks any kind of energy to keep up with the fast paced world she is in. As for Douglas, he gives as good a performance as he did in the original and it just might be his best performance since 2000′s Wonder Boys. This time around he plays Gekko as a man still suffering from his past crimes and yet every now and then you can see Douglas become the heartless Gekko we know him to be.
As much as I like the movie, I did find some faults. It lacked a hard edge that the original had. I believe director Oliver Stone has gone soft on us. It could have done without a motorcycle race, it could have used more Gekko and the ending was a little too sweet for my taste. Keep an eye out for the cameo by Charlie Sheen, it’s a riot.
I give Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps ***1/2 out of ****.