Movie review: 'Money Never Sleeps' in sequel to 'Wall Street'
At the clever opening of “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” a stubble-faced Gordon Gekko is being released from eight years in the clink for the sharp double-dealing and insider trading he engineered in Oliver Stone’s original, epochal 1987 film.
As Gekko picks up his belongings — a blingy watch and ring, a gold money clip sans cash and a cellular phone the size of a hoagie — he seems a humbled man, yet with a wolfish glint still in his eye. A stretch limo pulls up to the prison gates, but it’s there to pick up a newly paroled rapper. Gekko is left to hop a seedy cab back into Manhattan.
And there he quickly learns that, in keeping with his mantra of the first film, greed is still rampant, if not good.
Much in the world of finance has changed since the suave, mercurial Gekko (Michael Douglas, reprising his Oscar-winning role) met his downfall, and his reappearance couldn’t be timelier. Out on the street again, he pens a doomsday book, titled “Is Greed Good?,” preaching against the evils of Wall Street banking piracy of the sort he once gloried in.
As it turns out, the book presages every dire happening in the world economy that befell us in 2008-10 and puts Gekko on track to once again become a cigar-puffing power player in the global markets.
But Stone and writers Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff intend more for this sequel than charting the comeback of their leonine wheeler-dealer. To that end they introduce us to Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf, earnest but not totally convincing), a hotshot young proprietary trader who is coincidentally in love with Winnie Gekko (pixieish Carey Mulligan), Gordon’s estranged daughter. Jake and Winnie are money savvy but idealistic, and both are intent on living green lives (ecologically, not monetarily, speaking).
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