Wall Street – Money Never Sleeps

Money Never Sleeps is the sequel to Oliver Stone’s original story, Wall Street. While most sequels pick up shortly after the original leaves off, Money Never Sleeps takes place over 20 years later after Gordon Gekko, the slimy money broker, after he served 8 years in prison and then leaps ahead to 2008 as a sort of social commentary for the economic crisis of resent years. Gekko appears to be a new man, having learned his lesson, and seeks to get back into contact with his estranged daughter who’s disowned him for his greedy ways, but is dating another up-and-coming broker named Jake Moore.

Moore is fascinated with Gekko and seeks him out, both to reunite his girlfriend with her father and to learn how Gekko became so renowned as a broker. When Moore’s firm goes under and his mentor commits suicide, Moore turns to Gekko to get back at the corrupt financiers who destroyed his life.

The plot is fast paced and spends a great deal of time rushing through the story line. Most of the jargon doesn’t make a lot of sense to anyone, and doesn’t give a good glimpse into the world of stock broking, but the story is more about the characters involved than what they actually do. When not delving into the pitfalls of melodrama, the characters are pretty rich and capable at keeping the audiences attention.

Oliver Stone has a unique style in telling stories, and his direction is quite dated. The cinematography is inconsistent with serious and comedic shots all tied together making a confusing feel for the movie as a whole. Stone creates outlandish characters who are too far fetched to actually be believed. Stone sticks with the same format he had in the 80’s with his first Wall Street and doesn’t bring his sequel up to date.

The acting is superb. Stone gets a remarkable cast with Michael Douglas reinventing his Oscar winning role as Gordon Gekko and Shia LaBeouf as his protege, Jake Moore. But the best roles actually came from Josh Brolin as the antagonist, Bretton James, and Carrie Mulligan as the estranged daughter of Gekko, Minnie. The cameos of Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox and the landlady are the most awkward scenes of the whole film.

While there were parts that seemed believable, and the actors presented some convincing monologues, the overall story is complicated and farfetched. Stone doesn’t do a good job at compelling the audience and leaves the viewers split over this sequel to his novel hit from the 80’s.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars. There’s not much compelling about this story, but there’s not much repulsing either.

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