Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Dir: Oliver Stone; Writ: Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Michael Douglas, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin, Susan Sarandon, Eli Wallach, and Frank Langella.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps reintroduces the all-American slimeball Gordon Gekko in a fun, but dangerous scene. The film begins with Gekko’s release from prison. Stone frames the camera on a prison guard as he catalogues Gekko’s list of personal effects and hands them over to the free man. There’s a fancy watch, a gold money clip (empty, of course), and a mobile phone – from the 1990’s. When Gordon (Michael Douglas) grabs the oversized and out-dated device, it’s a playful way of informing new viewers how the first Wall Street ended. However, the antiquated phone also draws attention to the time span between the release of each film. As fun a character as Gordon Gekko may be, was it really necessary to resurrect him twenty-three years later? Before Money Never Sleeps, the answer was an obvious “yes,” but after seeing the film, I’m not so sure.
Following the opening scene, Gekko disappears while the new characters are introduced in the first act. Taking the lead is Shia LaBeouf as Jake Moore, an enthusiastic up-and-coming Wall St. broker with a hunger for making money. Jake works for Louis Zabel (Frank Langella), an old-school stockbroker who gets screwed by his rival firm, led by the evil suit Bretton James, played by Josh Brolin. Zabel’s poor turn of fortune hits him hard, and Jake finds himself in both a fiscal and an emotional predicament. Aiding both matters, however, is his relationship with Winnie (Carey Mulligan). Winnie is a hot ticket because not only does she agree to marry Jake, but her last name is Gekko.