Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (12A)
Gekko is back.
GREED is good, or it certainly was back in 1987 when Michael Douglas epitomised a money-hungry decade with the glorious Gordon Gekko in Wall Street.
Fast forward 22 years and we are presented with a sequel that begs the question: is greed still good?
Set in 2008, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps looks at the financial industry before and during the big crash.
Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is fresh out of prison and apparently repenting his sins.
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Shunned by old friends he is now an author and speaker warning Joe Public about the dangers of dollar-chasing bankers.
His daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan) wants nothing to do with him and runs a left-wing blog while dating young idealistic Wall Street trader Jake Moore (Shia Lebouf).
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When the company he works for goes under thanks to scurrilous banking oligarch Bretton James (Josh Brolin) Jake’s mentor Louis Zabel (Frank Langella) cannot save it and does something drastic.
Jake swears revenge and a chance meeting with Gekko at a speaking event has the two men working together – one wanting information on Bretton and the other on his estranged daughter.
While the first Wall Street really hit the target with its savage portrayal of ruthless bankers striving to make more money, the sequel feels a little late in the day.
Much like director Oliver Stone’s recent George Bush biopic ‘W’, we are presented with a history we already know to an extent and the reasons for it have been covered in greater detail and with more aplomb by the press.
Having said that it is a joy to see Gordon Gekko once again, if a little restrained and relegated, and Eli Wallach as an elderly banker is pure class.
Lebouf is somewhat odd in the film. He does not have the charisma or sheen of…Charlie Sheen, who played Bud Fox,Gekko’s prot�g� in the original, and a cameo by him highlights this.
Where the film does work however is with the kinetic and colourful directing which will keep you entertained throughout.
Money Never Sleeps is a decent attempt that ultimately does not quite make it through not quite knowing what to do with its best character.