Warning: SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW
If you haven’t seen the original Wall Street that came out in 1987, the nice thing about the sequel is that you don’t need to know that movie to enjoy this one. However, if you did see the original, there are some nice callbacks to the original film.
The film begins with Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) exiting prison without a single friend left to greet him. Flash forward eight years and we see Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf) and Winnie Gekko (Carey Mulligan), a young couple living in New York. Moore works in the stock market, while Winnie tries to keep Jacob from becoming her father. From the beginning, you can see traces of Gekko in Moore, and this is seen upon more as the film progresses and pointed out both by Gordon and Winnie.
Throughout the film, we see Jacob meet up with Gordon who wants to reunite with Winnie, while also helping make each other rich. Once Moore’s investment company goes under, Moore joins up with Bretton James (Josh Brolin), and with the help of Gordon, try to take him down as well as his investment firm.
The film (set in 2008 during the stock market crash) goes through many twists and turns that raise the question of how much money is enough? However, being a film by Oliver Stone, nothing can be quite this simple. Gordon continues to be his conniving self, stealing the trust he left to his daughter and running away. However, Jacob does get his chance to take down Bretton and does so, but now must patch things up with Winnie.
Money Never Sleeps is a strong film, and reminds us about how much greed is left in our country even after the stock market woes. The sequel is definitely not as dark as the first film, but adds some heart that helps the prosperity that even some dark people can turn around.
A few things to look forward to in the film are a nice cameo by Charlie Sheen (reprising his role of Bud Fox from the first film), and minor appearances by Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon. While this film preaches a strong message to the younger generation of America, the film balances that well bringing in these screen veterans with powerful scenes.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is nowhere near a perfect film, but it is a film that all of America (especially the youth), need to see. While LaBeouf may not be the world’s best actor, if he can draw in the younger audiences in so they can see this message, Mr. Stone did his job right.
Final Grade: 8.0/10