Cannes Review: Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
by Alex Billington
May 15, 2010
One of the big premieres in Cannes that I was really looking forward to this year was for Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, his sequel to the classic 1987 stock market film Wall Street. Considering its now 23 years later and we're in a new economic recession, the film feels very much like a fresh, modern take on the Wall Street idea but wrapped around the economic troubles of today, which will instantly anger and distance some critics who don't like looking into that world. But that doesn't mean it's not an enjoyable film with fantastic performances all around and a stellar script from one of the best screenwriters working today.
The script I'm talking about is the one co-written by the extremely talented Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff. It wasn't flawless, but it was incredibly fresh and a perfect look at the stock market and bailout world while all wrapped up in an interesting familial story. As you may have picked up from the trailers, Shia LaBeouf (who is really the main character) plays a brilliant young investor who is dating Gordon Gekko's daughter, but she hates her father and has stayed as far from him as possible since he went to jail. She knows he can't change and is still the same stealing, conniving bastard as before and that landed him in jail years ago, tearing apart their family. But of course, he's back now and wants to get into the game again, but doesn't have any money.
Anyway, without getting too much into the plot (I'm one of those people who thinks it's best to watch it all unfold in front of you), I really liked Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. It's not perfect, there are a few issues and some very quirky, odd directorial choices, including a cheesy "ghost" character, documentary-like news footage of the stock market crashes over the last few years, and some super cheesy transitions, but overall it works well. For someone who's fought only robots for the last few years, LaBeouf delivers an impressive performance that carries the movie, and of course, it's a real delight to see Michael Douglas back as Gekko.
I loved the script because I could get lost in the story and relationships and characters through brilliantly written dialogue and stock market lingo that was above my level. Just because I didn't always understand it, doesn't mean I must write it off, so I sat back and enjoyed the story as presented. It's not as polished as the original Wall Street script and it feels a little front heavy, as in I would've liked to see more of the story that pops up near the end (I'm not going to ruin it), but I don't have many qualms with Wall Street 2. There are a few cameos to look out for, including one from Charlie Sheen and even Oliver Stone. It's the performances and script that rule this film, from Carey Mulligan to Frank Langella, so just sit back and enjoy the ride!
Reader Feedback - 14 Comments
Cant wait, the first film got me interested in the markets. Its been 16 yrs now and Im still trading.
ocp on May 16, 2010
Thanks for the good review, now I am really looking forward to seeing the film, I am a big fan of original and Micheal Douglas.
Paul Rainwater on May 16, 2010
seems like a great career step for Shia
Sharlto on May 16, 2010
I did like the trailer, will look forward to this film liked the small Review didn't give to much of the story away.
Cineprog on May 16, 2010
sounds good, can't wait to check it out.
jake the snake on May 16, 2010
Thanks a lot for your review will now be happy to go into theater knowing that this is good movie.
joe_6285 on May 17, 2010
looking forward to this! cant wait
dhof on May 17, 2010
"It's the performances and script that rule this film" That's actually two of the very best reasons to see a movie. I'm looking forward to this, and I'm normally weary of STONE and his ham-fisted approach at subtlety, characters and music cues, but I think thats the cheese and the weaker parts you mentioned. Glad they delayed this, i think it will help the movie in the end.
Voice of Reason on May 17, 2010
Super fired up to see this. BTW, didn't Gekko's have a son in the first one?
Bobba on May 17, 2010
It will be nice to see shai doing something besides Robots and Live action films. The Kid got talent.
Girum on May 19, 2010
Looking forward to see th movie.. impressed by the trailer ..http://www.videocrux.com/video/24205/Michael-Douglas-step-onto-the-Cannes-for-Wall-Street
Nav Raj on May 20, 2010
I am looking forward to this movie. I have only been able to see a couple kid movies in the theaters this year with my daughter, so it will be nice to see something that I am interested in. I hope I don't notice the cheesy parts you mentioned as those can be major turn offs for me.
Steve on May 31, 2010
BTW ---where's GENUINE veteran, 'daring outspoken' STONE on BOTH the 20th anniversary of the Tiennaman Massacre AND! the staggeringly relevant 60th anniversary of the KOREAN WAR ---this year? Seems the PC franchise slum Hollywood line on DENIAL and ENABLING is just fine for STONE! LOL
tiger tim on Aug 28, 2010
Ive seen this movie great movie, makes you think alot about the people behind the finances of the world.
Spindle on Jan 9, 2011
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