Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Movie Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Guest blogger Liz Parker is back from an advance screening of "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps". Did Michael Douglas reprise his wonderful role from the original movie or is it all just a waste of film? Let's see what Liz thinks...

I was excited to see this movie. The trailer looked great, and after seeing the original "Wall Street" (from 1987) on DVD a few months ago, I was happy to see Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas's character) making a comeback. After the sequel droned on for over two hours, however, I was definitely reconsidering my excitement.

Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen") has a great job on Wall Street working for his mentor, Lewis Zabel (Frank Langella, "The Box"). When the crash of 2008 starts to hit his company, though, Jacob suddenly finds himself on the brink of unemployment. When Bretton James (Josh Brolin, "Jonah Hex") offers him a job at his rival company after Jacob makes his stock almost crash (he's impressed with Jacob's skills, apparently), he takes it, so he will have the opportunity to enact more revenge on Bretton. Jacob's girlfriend, Winnie Gecko (Carey Mulligan, "An Education"), tries not to get involved, as she acutely remembers the "wheeling and dealing" her father, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas, "Solitary Man"), did on Wall Street when she was younger, which put him in jail for eight years. What she doesn't know, however, is that Jacob has secretly been meeting with Gordon, and that he wants him and Winnie to reconcile.

Michael Douglas and Shia are pretty good in this movie; however, we only see Douglas for about half the time, as the movie chooses to focus mostly on Shia's career and his relationship with his girlfriend. The highlight of the movie for me was actually when Charlie Sheen (TV's "Two and a Half Men") made a cameo appearance as Bud Fox, which was his role in the original "Wall Street"; he and Gordon chat for a scene but unfortunately that is about it. Susan Sarandon ("You Don't Know Jack") has a small role as Jacob's mother, but she ends up spending the few scenes she is in asking him for money, as she is a real estate agent who is going broke.

Maybe see this movie. It had its moments, and there were a few light chuckles throughout, but I was bored throughout most of its 130-minute duration. I couldn't help comparing it to its predecessor, which may be unfair, but I felt that the original movie was much more "user friendly" - it didn't have as many technical terms about stocks that I couldn't understand, and it focused more on the characters themselves then on the money/stocks issues. If you are a stock trader or investor, perhaps you will like this movie, and it did have a coherent story to it; however, I'd recommend skipping this sequel and watching the original instead.

"Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" arrives in theaters on September 24th.

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Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films

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