Director: Oliver Stone
Time: 2 hours 16 minutes
Starring: Michael Douglas, Shia LeBeouf
The sequel to Stone's 1987 look into the life of New York stockbrokers, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" offers a modern look at the current status of the American financial market and how 23 years later, some things never change. Although not perfect, "Money Never Sleeps" has plenty of valuable characteristics that make it a film to invest in during this bear movie market.
"Money Never Sleeps" follows financial mogul Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas) being released from prison in 2002 after serving nearly a decade in prison. Time quickly skips forward to 2008, where investment consultant Jake Moore (Shia LeBeouf) is making big financial deals for investment banking powerhouse Keller Zabel. After hearing Gecko give a moving speech at an event, Moore confronts Gordon and they make a deal. Jake will try to get his girlfriend Winnie to meet with Gordon (as Winnie is Gordon's daughter) and in return Gordon will give Jake some valuable insight into certain people and companies within the financial community. Is Gecko being honest and genuine with his request to meet his daughter or does he have he a secret agenda?
"Money Never Sleeps" is similar to its predecessor in that it presents a detailed depiction of what high-value investment trading is like in this day and age. Shia LeBeouf does an adequate job of selling his role as an up-start investment banker and Oliver Stone provides LeBeouf with all the amenities necessary to sell that role -- whether it be the paintings, the homes, or the elite cafe bikes which LeBeouf plays with, Stone accurately sells the lifestyle. You get the feeling of how grand the scope of this lifestyle is and while this isn't accurate life for every person who has a career in finance in New York, you know that there is a small percentage of Americans who live this lifestyle.
As decent as LeBeouf is in the film, Michael Douglas is larger than life as his role as Gordon Gecko. Douglas delivers his lines with a sharp sense of wit and knowledge that it outshines all the other roles in the film. You can't help but favor a character like Gordon Gecko -- regardless of how sleazy and untrustworthy a character Gecko is.
"Money Never Sleeps" would be a near perfect film offering if it wasn't for a very forced ending. Up until the last 20 minutes, Stone's product runs at a strong pace. Unfortunately, the last 20 minutes seem thrown together just to clean up some loose ends.
All in all, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is a strong follow up offering to its 23 year-old predecessor. It is also the brightest investment option for your entertainment money this weekend as well. Catch it at Tango Theatres today.
4 out of 5 stars.