Guest / Limited Access /
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Our Rating
2 Stars - Fair
Average Rating
 
(2 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for brief strong language and thematic elements)
Genre
Directed By
Oliver Stone
Run Time
2 hours 13 minutes
Cast
Richard Stratton, Harry Kerrigan, Michael Douglas, Carey Mulligan
Theatre Release
September 24, 2010 by 20th Century Fox

Oliver Stone has a penchant for tracking the winds of popular American sentiment. From his blistering account of the Vietnam War (Platoon, 1986) to his controversial presidential bio-pics (JFK, 1991; W., 2006), the larger-than-life director has taken on some of our deepest assumptions, exposing their cracks and flaws. Wall Street (1987) took one of our most cherished beliefs—that capitalism is the best economic system the world has known—to its logical conclusion, showing what happens when someone makes unfettered self-interest his gospel. (Hint: It ain't pretty.) The American Film Institute named reptilian corporate raider Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) among its top 50 movie villains, in part for his speech espousing that "greed … is good, greed is right, greed works." On a theoretical level, Americans understand that self-interest fuels the wheels of our economic system. But put Gekko's way, most of us sense something is horribly wrong.

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko

As it turns out, greed doesn't always work. If we have learned anything the past two years, watching the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, it's that greed fails, sometimes miserably. News of sub-prime mortgage scandals, trillion-dollar government bailouts of "too big to fail" banks, and Ponzi schemes have primed many American moviegoers for a takedown of the bankers and investors who contributed to the mess. We are enraged at corruption throughout corporate America, and we're ready for an on-screen skewering of a Bernie Madoff—like character.

Enter Gekko—or reenter, that is. In Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Stone brings Douglas's Oscar-winning role back for a timely (some might say opportunist) story about an older, wiser Wall Street, and the bankers who've been humbled by its demise. Unlike the first film, which gave an insider's look at the soulless world of playing the market, Wall Street 2 is about the priceless value of investing in human relationships. Or at least it wants to be.

Shia LeBeouf as Jake Moore

Shia LeBeouf as Jake Moore

Gekko has finished his jail sentence for securities fraud and racketeering, and is reentering society without a colleague or family member in sight. His only child, Winnie (Carey Mulligan), has cut all ties, blaming his "victimless crimes" for the suicide of her older brother, Rudy. Winnie is the girlfriend of—irony of ironies—a proprietary trader, the young, whip-smart Jake Moore (Shia LeBeouf), whose competitive drive is redeemed by his idealism and investment in green energy. Moore works for Louis Zabel, a hard-driving but honest investor, played by the luminous Frank Langella. When the Federal Reserve refuses to bail out Zabel's investment firm, rumored to have billions in toxic debt, tragedy strikes and another firm—led by Bretton James (Josh Brolin), clearly the villain here—swoops in to buy it for a fraction of its worth. Without telling Winnie, Moore contacts Gekko for clues as to why Zabel was betrayed by his fellow bankers. Gekko, always a businessman, wants something in return: his daughter.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedDawn of the Planet of the Apes
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Are we really doomed to this?
TrendingReligious Freedom vs. LGBT Rights? It's More Complicated
Religious Freedom vs. LGBT Rights? It's More Complicated
The legal context for what's happening at Gordon College, and how Christians can respond despite intense cultural backlash.
Editor's PickWhat We Talk About When We Talk About 'Birth Control'
What We Talk About When We Talk About 'Birth Control'
Meaningful debate requires us to define the terms of discussion.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

View this article in Reader Mode
Christianity Today
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps