Director: Oliver Stone | 133 minutes | drama | Actors: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Charlie Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Josh Brolin, Vanessa Ferlito, Frank Langella, Natalie Morales, Julianne Michelle
“Greed is good,” Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) proclaimed to the world in 1987. For a long time most people did not realize how close he was to reality with that. In “Wall Street” Gekko made millions over the back of others. With his endless speculation he destroyed companies. Since 2008 we have known that this does not only happen in films: the global economic recession is a direct result of it and inspired Oliver Stone, the director of ‘Wall Street’ to create a sequel to his 1987 classic. Of course the film would not be complete without Gordon Gekko and luckily for Stone, Douglas happily signed for the part. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” (2010) has turned out to be a nice, entertaining film, which, however, is nowhere near the impact of its predecessor. Where “Wall Street” opened people’s eyes in the late 1980s, “Money Never Sleeps” hides hardly any surprises. Nothing new under the sun: we already know everything from the media and the internet.
“Money Never Sleeps” opens in 2001 with Gordon Gekko (Douglas), who is finally released after eight years. To his great sorrow, there is no one to pick him up. Much appears to have changed in the world and his status as “King of Wall Street” is nowhere left. Wishing to warn the world of the impending economic downfall, he decides to write a book entitled “Is Greed Good?”, With a nod to his own legendary speech. Eight years later, we are introduced to Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf), an aspiring young stockbroker who is in a relationship with Winnie (Carey Mulligan), Gekko’s daughter who has been estranged from her father because of the breakup of her family and the death of her. brother blames. While Gekko desperately tries to revive his relationship with his daughter, Jake is confronted with the harsh laws of the financial world. His mentor Lewis Zabel (Frank Langella), boss of an influential investment company, commits suicide and it appears that ruthless mutual fund manager Bretton James (Josh Brolin) has driven him to the act. Jake seeks revenge and Gekko, who will do anything to be closer to his daughter, decides to help him.
Oliver Stone never remade before, so he had to be very sure about “Money Never Sleeps”. But it is precisely the story that falls quite short. Unfortunately, the film does not add to what we already knew. Stone was (perhaps for this reason) tempted to the excessive use of jargon (especially in the first half of the film): where ‘Wall Street’ made the financial world more transparent for the layman, ‘Money Never Sleeps’ scatters the audience with needlessly complicated terminology – turned on with flashy digital effects – again sand in the eyes. To make it realistic maybe? Who’s to say. In any case, the fact is that Stone’s message – that their greed has gone to their heads with financiers and bankers, putting the global economy at risk – is not news. Perhaps that is why the focus has shifted to a (romantic) subplot, in which Gekko’s daughter plays a central role. Why she, who says she hates everything that has to do with Wall Street, goes to bed with the crown prince of a major investment company, is a great mystery. Much more interesting is her relationship with her father Gordon, but unfortunately it is hardly explored.
Minuses for the story, but “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” scores high when it comes to the cast. Michael Douglas may no longer have the real lead, but he still steals the show in the role that once earned him an Oscar. Even now he spoons up the striking one-liners without any difficulty. The film comes alive as soon as it is on the screen, which is telling. Shia LaBeouf, who gets a lot more screentime than Douglas, does not seem the best choice on paper, but is putting his best foot forward. No lack of commitment. Carey Mulligan is a talented actress, who, however, gets a bit of an ungrateful role here. Unfortunately we see far too little of the fantastic Frank Langella and that actually also applies to Josh Brolin. Veterans Susan Sarandon and Eli Wallach (a fat nineties!) Are always fun to watch, and Charlie Sheen, who played Bud Fox on “Wall Street”, can be seen in a small cameo. New York also plays an important role, and Manhattan in particular, which looks impressive in the beautiful shots of Stone’s cameraman Rodrigo Prieto.
It is not easy to make a suitable and fully-fledged sequel after a classic like “Wall Street”. Oliver Stone has no voor nothing was done twenty-three years. It was to be expected that the successor is nothing compared to its illustrious predecessor. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” portrays a fair era of the fast-paced world of Big Money, and it performs well, but the message that Stone wants to convey comes a bit like post-meal mustard. Anyone who follows the news now knows what is going on on Wall Street. A Michael Douglas in top form, who brings the illustrious Gordon Gekko back to life, does not detract from that. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” is by no means a bad film, but it simply lacks the impact that gave its predecessor its unforgettable status.