‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ Movie Review: The Immense Cost Of Greed

'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' Movie Review

‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ is a drama film helmed by Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone and premiered in theatres in September 2010.

This feature that serves as a sequel to Wall Street, released in 1987, stars Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, and the late Eli Wallach.

The movie takes place in the Big Apple more than a decade after the first chapter and shines the spotlight on the financial crisis witnessed across the US in 2008.

When the film starts, the infamous Gordon Gekko, played by Douglas, has served his prison time and is now a reformed citizen promoting his new book titled Is Greed Good and lectures at a local business school. 

He is determined to repair his relationship with his estranged daughter Winnie a role by Carrey Mulligan with the help of her boyfriend Jacob Moore, embodied by LaBeouf, an ambitious, hardworking guy who works in the financial market.

Jake works for a financial firm headed by his mentor Louis a role by Langella, but the stock market starts plummeting, and the company starts losing money.

Despite the looming financial crisis, part of the downfall is due to an opponent company headed by one Bretton James, a role by Josh Brolin. His goal is to run Langella’s firm to the ground apparently because his firm failed to bail his, when they were down.

Unfortunately, Louis commits suicide, and Jake teams up with Gekko to get back at Bretton.

They decide to use Winnie’s trust fund set by her father years earlier, but the old-timer reverts to his old ways, skips town with the cash, and starts a successful company in London.

Meanwhile, Jake gives Winnie crucial damaging information about Bretton’s dirty dealings, which she posts on her blog putting Bretton on the federal government’s radar.

This feature is excellently done. The graphics are fantastic, especially where the financial graphic morphs into a city in the movie’s first half.

The locations are gorgeous, the cinematography clean and intentional, and the pacing just perfect, excellently blending financial aspects with family matters.

The editing is sleek, especially when Jake enters his workplace and moves through the floor headed to his boss’s desk. It is super smooth and very captivating to watch. 

The interchanging of quick cuts accompanied by dramatic sounds, especially when Jake is on the train with Gekko, creates suspense, making one suspicious of Gekko’s intentions.

The performances by the cast, especially LaBeouf and Langella, are astounding. Every actor in the movie excellently pulls their weight, contributing to the big picture.

‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ opened to positive reviews during the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. However, it received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike when it was released. Some stated that the second entry felt like a melodrama rather than a movie about the incredibly serious subject.

Nevertheless, ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ was still a success at the box office as not only did it top the US ranking on its opening weekend, it ended up grossing north of $130 million in theatres and an additional $15 million on DVD. 

SCORE: 6.5/10

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