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Does Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps leave you bankrupt?

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps 2010Stephen Schiff, Allan LoebOliver StoneMichael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps(2010)
 

America ’s pursuit of prosperity took a dreadful dip during the bank collapses of 2008, causing a recession not seen in the land of opportunity since the beginnings of Franklyn Roosevelt’s presidency. Words like “bailout” and “foreclosure” are now prevalent in our lingo, and names like AIG and Bernie Madoff became synonymous with white collar villainy. Alas, Oliver Stone, whose recent creative efforts have plunged lower than Goldman/Sachs, found an opportune time to bring his infamous trade raider Gordon Gekko back to his slick hair, three-piece suit form.

Michael Douglas is back as Gekko in “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps," and this time, the young and ambitious upstart is Shia LaBeouf as Jake Moore, taking over for the naïve but hungry Bud Fox played by Charlie Sheen in the first movie. Jake is a natural at the financial game, but has idealist goals that have him backing an alternative energy company in need of a major investment push. Jake is also dating the equally idealist Winnie (Carey Mulligan), who happens to be Gekko’s estranged daughter.

As Gekko has recently been released from an eight-year prison stint, Jake wants to get to know the legendary market shark, who appears to have left his crooked ways in hopes at a reconciliation with Winnie. But when Jake’s mentor Louis Zabel (Frank Langella) commits suicide after an embarrassing buyout by financial overlord Bretton James (Josh Brolin), Jake seeks the consul of Gekko to bring down James’ empire. However, if we learned anything about Gekko, his intentions are never as noble as they seem.

A lot has changed in Wall Street since Gekko’s first appearance in the '80s: new financial terminologies have evolved and the pressure cooker numbers battles have found a home in the Internet. However, Gekko’s famous line, “Greed is good,” proves prophetic, as millions of Americans were left high and dry in the unrealistic economic bliss of irresponsible bank loans and mortgages.

While Gekko was the heel in the original, this time he's more of an anti-hero, a man whose uncontrollable ambition is faced by the desire to bond with his kin. Douglas is still great as the sleazy Gekko, albeit a soften version this time around. The rest of the cast is good, and LaBeouf deserves credit for carrying a movie without the aid of an autobot.

“Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps” is Stone’s best film in almost a decade, an energetic Cliffs Notes review of the economic woes of the 2000's presented in an entertaining and smart way. However, the film does struggle to keep its convictions by not entirely condemning the system that allowed the downfall to happen in the first place. And while characters like Bretton James are palpable bad guys, Stone still reaches to find some good in the free-for-all economics of stock trading. For instance, an associate of James' condemns the bailout as an act of socialism and states how he is a combatant of the evils of big government. An idealist broker? I don’t think most Main Street folks would buy that stock! Then again, a movie that features such a blatant marketing spot for Heineken probably isn’t in the best position to accuse anybody of lacking ethics. Perhaps greed is not only good, but quite shameless. Still, investing on "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps" will produce a relatively rewarding return.

Trailer:

Official website:
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Pics:
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps2010Stephen Schiff, Allan LoebOliver StoneMichael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf  Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps2010Stephen Schiff, Allan LoebOliver StoneMichael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf  Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps2010Stephen Schiff, Allan LoebOliver StoneMichael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf  Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps2010Stephen Schiff, Allan LoebOliver StoneMichael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf  Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps2010Stephen Schiff, Allan LoebOliver StoneMichael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf 

Credits:
Directed by: Oliver Stone
Written by: Stephen Schiff, Allan Loeb
Cast: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf


Source of the Bitter: John Rojas

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