By: Cheryl Maxie
Introduction: Wall Street 2 (Money Never Sleeps) opened worldwide October 24, 2010 to anxiously awaiting fans. Starring Michael Douglas and Shia LaBoeuf the film directed by Oliver Stone has an all-star supporting cast that includes Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon and Josh Brolin.
Storyline: When Gordon Gekko (Douglas) is released from prison after serving 8 years for insider trading, he is approached by his would be son-in-law Jake Moore (Shia LaBoeuf) in an attempt to reconcile Gekko with his daughter Winnie, LaBoeuf’s love interest. LaBoeuf, a “wall streeter” himself is somewhat seduced by the charismatic Gekko and quickly learns a few new tricks from his future father-in-law. As luck would have it, LaBoeuf’s mentor (Frank Langella) is driven to suicide when his company is ruined and LaBoeuf is determined to avenge his death. In an attempt to bring down the corrupt leader of the financial company that ruined his company, Bretton James played by Brolin, (who also contributed to Gekko’s imprisonment) LaBoeuf goes to work for the competition. LaBoeuf struggles to do good, but has to learn how to swim with the big sharks, which ultimately threatens to both destroy his relationship and his financial future when the rug is pulled out from under him by guess who?
What’s Good: Michael Douglas is great as he recaptures Gekko’s character, a man down but never out of the game. LaBoeuf is believable as both a young, hotshot Wall Street trader and equally convincing as a caring partner to his love interest (Mulligan) showing a wide range of emotion with apparent ease. In Wall Street, LaBoeuf has taken the leap from the action paced “Transformer” franchise into a first rate “Leading Man” in a dramatic role. Josh Brolin who plays Bretton James the banker who is so driven, that he lacks a conscience, but even though you know he’s no good, you love to watch. Oliver Stone plays a cameo role in the movie that is always a treat for the moviegoer. Susan Sarandon is in her element as LaBoeuf’s needy mother (complete with thick New York accent) and it is always fun to see how the super rich live and how they spend all that money on those wonderful toys (and clothes).
What’s Bad: It would have been nice to see Mulligan have a meatier part, but overall her performance was what the script required.
Summary: As sequel’s go, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a must see if you enjoyed the first one. Oliver Stone’s film is, as always filled with interesting hypotheses of what could have cause our economic melt down. The film is well paced, beautifully shot and is fun to watch. There some great lines in Money Never Sleeps, a great New York Benefit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art sequence and even a little excitement for those with the need for speed.