Rating: 4 / 5 stars
By Sally Burgess, Technical Manager
Michael Douglas reprises his Oscar-winning role as Gordon Gekko in this eagerly awaited follow up to 1987’s Wall Street. In that movie, Gekko got sent down for insider trading but not before coming out with that immortal line, “greed is good.”
In Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, it is now 2008 and Gekko has been out of prison for seven years. He has a book out titled “Is Greed Good?” and gives lectures predicting (correctly as it turns out) that there will be a massive stock market crash VERY soon (a comment that Gekko makes at one of his lectures, comparing the greed of today’s corporate vultures to a cancer, has particular potency given Michael Douglas’ current real-life health dilemma.)
His daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan) wants nothing to do with her Dad who she blames for the death of her brother, and is living with Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf). Jacob is a trader on Wall Street doing very well for himself (well I’d be pretty happy with a $1.5m bonus), and also has a keen interest in investing in United Fusion, an up and coming clean energy company who are working on the next big thing, converting seawater into power.
When Jacob’s boss and mentor commits suicide after losing his corporation, Jacob seeks revenge on the man he holds responsible. The villain of the piece is Bretton James (Josh Brolin), a billionaire fund manager with all the shady characteristics of a younger Gordon Gekko. So, in exchange for helping Jacob get his own back, Gekko seeks Jacob’s help in being reunited with Winnie. But has Gordon Gekko become a changed man after over a decade behind bars…or is he still a financial shark with an agenda of his own?
This is a worthy sequel indeed. The writing and acting is top notch, and New York has never looked better on film. This is Oliver Stone’s best movie in a while, good enough for me to forgive him for the dismal offering that was “World Trade Centre”. I liked the fact that the film’s backdrop was the real-life economic downturn and market crash of 2008, which gives the movie an air of authenticity. But the real star of the movie, apart from New York City, is Michael Douglas. I doubt his performance will bag him another Oscar for playing the same role (a feat which has never happened before), but he will certainly be recognised come nomination season next year…and rightly so. There could quite easily be another Wall Street movie on the way, I just hope I don’t have to wait another 23 years for it.
Standout performance: Michael Douglas