At the Movies: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

First of all, as a sign of solidarity with my dear friend Stevie — who has an irrational fear and hatred of owls — I did not see :Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.”  The fact that I had no desire to watch a movie about warrior owls had nothing to do with it.

I also punted “You Again” because, well, I couldn’t make out what it was about from the commercials and what I could make out didn’t appeal to me at all.

Which brings us by process of elimination to “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” It’s late and I’m tired (I hate Thursday night screenings when the movie opens the next day. It gives me no time to process my thoughts. I’ll probably feel differently about this movie in the morning) so this will be even less coherent than usual. But I’ve got to get this done and get my rest so I can be fresh for Walnut Festival Weekend. Really, I can’t believe anyone would be thinking about going to the movies this weekend with WalnutFest going on.

It’s been eight years since financial wizard Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) was sent up the river for insider trading and other crimes against finance. He returns to Manhattan and quickly makes his way back into the public eye by writing a book.

Elsewhere across town, his estranged daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan) has found happiness with Wall Street wonderkid Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf). When the firm Jake is working for is brought to ruin thanks in large part to the machinations of Bretton James (Josh Brolin), Jake finds himself out of a job. When Jake’s mentor (Frank Langella) jumps in front of a subway train over the event, Jake wants revenge.

It turns out Gordon also has a score to settle with Betton as he blames him in large part for his lengthy prison sentence. Winnie doesn’t want anything to do with her father, and she begs Jake to stay away as well, but the young man is drawn to Gordon’s wisdom and charisma.

Director Oliver Stone delivers a decent but not exceptional sequel to his 1987 hit. I don’t know a credit default swap from a hole in the ground so most — OK, all — of the financial jargon went over my head. But I was still able to follow the basics of who was doing dirt to whom and who was backstabbing whom and that’s all that matters.

It’s a slick-looking film with clever visual flourishes. The actors do solid work, especially Douglas and Brolin. I didn’t much care for Stone’s attempt to spin a happy ending out of it. Things had gone too far for these people to reconcile easily.

Did it work for me? “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” has its flaws but overall it was worth the time.

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3 responses to “At the Movies: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

  1. Good morning RRoy,

    I appreciate the review. Like you, I was skeptical about this film. I liked the first film, but Oliver Stone tends to be hit or miss. After watching several trailers for the film, I’m more optimistic about its chances for being deemed a hit for Mr. Stone. This review helps to establish a desire to see the film at some point. Thanks for writing through your fatigue; I appreciate it.

    Please feel free to join the conversation about films at http://khocolatemoose.wordpress.com/

    I’d love to hear what you think, and often. Enjoy the WalnutFest!

    Best,

    KM

  2. You truly are a good friend. Sorry you had to miss the owls. Those evil birds.

  3. “You Again” is HORRIBLE, don’t go see it.

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