Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Oliver Stone) 2010 Minor Spoilers

Yet another movie that is misrepresented in the trailer. So MNS is about Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf) who is a wall street trader. His mentor/father figure Louis (Frank Langella) commits suicide after gets his career ruined by Bretton James (Josh Brolin). Jake wants to get revenge on Bretton by going to his fiance’s father Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas). Gordon is also seeking to get back in good standing with his daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan).

Now I was actually interested in seeing a follow up to the original Wall Street. After all, the most recent crash is indicative of much of the ‘greed is good’ culture represented in the first. But it’s odd when the financial collapse kind of takes the back burner to a revenge plot and a subplot of Gordon making good. I also don’t expect Jake to be a bigger goodie good than Laura Ingalls nor do I expect a bizarre alternative energy macguffin in a movie about the financial collapse. Was this really made for the financial crisis, or did Stone have this script tucked away and added some banking stuff in to provide a minor update?

While we are on the subject of odd, why are we making Gordon Gekko a good guy? I hear that Stone hates the fact Gekko is liked by so many of the original’s fans although I think he is in error about his audience. We don’t want to be like Gekko (or, at least, not through thievery). Michael Douglas is just such a charismatic guy (and maybe even more charismatic as a dick) that we love the performance. I mean, take the Joker for example. He is a complete psychopath, but damn if he isn’t a scene stealer. Anyway, it is just bizarre that we have to kind of change the story about Gekko. He wasn’t sent to prison for Bud Fox’s testimony as indicated at the end of the original movie, but instead he has to be set up by the EEEEEVIL Bretton and wrongly convicted.

The acting in this movie is actually very good all around. Believe it or not, but I think Shia LaBeouf can be a good actor on occasion. If I ever had a problem with him, it was the fact he was shoved down my throat like he was the next big thing. When they indicated that he might be the next Indiana Jones almost made me vomit in the theater. But in this movie he actually does a good job. He is a damn sight better than Charlie Sheen to be brutally honest. Carey Mulligan is alright, although I wish she did something other than pout and cry. Seriously, I think she cries in every scene she’s in. Let’s not kid each other though, this movie belongs to Michael Douglas. He steals every scene he is in, just like he stole them all in the original. If the movie were really about him, he might have carried this whole movie. However he is made to play supporting role to Shia so he gets limited screen time.

The direction is really a distraction, and this is coming from someone who didn’t mind Natural Born Killers that much. The camera work is really (I can’t believe I’m using this word but) embarrassing. He uses every camera trick in the book to the point I expected a star wipe. There are cheesy transitions, stupid animations, and enough forced symbolism to get you kicked out of the theater for screaming “SYMBOLISM!!!” too much. I won’t spoil the ending, but all I have to say is; LAAAAAAAAAAME.

Sadly this movie is a big MEH from me. This wasn’t painful to watch. For some reason I was mildly entertained in the time I was watching it (probably due to Michael Douglas), but I would never watch it again. Unlike the original, this movie eventually be forgotten.


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