29 sept. 2010

My Review: Wall Street (8/10)


¨The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.¨

Oliver Stone`s Wall Street is a memorable film with some great performances from Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen. Michael won the Oscar for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko, a very greedy corporate businessman who will be remembered among the best villains Hollywood has created. He is not your typical villain, Gekko has the respect of many people and under his expensive business suits and his sly fox-like smile lies a man who`s greed and lust for money has left thousands of people out of jobs. He personifies the evil that can be hidden in Wall Street, as Hal Holbrook`s character warns Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) ¨ the main thing about money is that it makes you do things you don't want to do.¨ This is exactly what has happened to Gordon who only cares about money and he really doesn`t care at what expense it comes to his other fellow human beings. The only goal for him is to continue making more money because as he puts it greed is good and it’s the only way America will improve its economy. Stone has created a memorable character in Gekko because he actually believes he`s doing the right thing and that economy is just a game where some win and others lose, but it’s actually more than that and his greed has blinded him. His character serves as a warning for all the people in Wall Street because that is where money can lead you, but not everyone is bad and in a way Holbrook`s character represents the good in Wall Street. You have to give credit to Stone who in a way pictured what was going to happen in the future if more people like Gekko ran Wall Street. I`m no expert in economy, but I still found this movie very interesting thanks to a good screenplay written by Stone and Stanley Weiser, and some great performances from the cast (excepting Daryl Hannah who was miscast in this film).

Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) is a young stockbroker who is having a difficult time making it to the top of the firm he is working for. He dreams of one day meeting Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) an extremely successful broker in New York who has become one of the most powerful men in Wall Street, and who Bud totally idolizes. He insists on meeting him and calls his secretary every day trying to arrange a meeting. He finally meets Gekko with the excuse that he is bringing him a present for his birthday and gives him a heads up on buying stock from an airline company. Bud has some inside information about Bluestar Airlines because his father, Carl (Martin Sheen), works there so Gordon takes an interest in Bud for his persistence. Gekko takes him under his wing and teaches him a thing or two about being a broker. The first rule is never to take risks; he tells Bud ¨ I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-Tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought.¨ This means that Gordon doesn`t actually play it fair in the market and only buys stocks depending on the information he gathers about a certain company. Bud soon begins to play the same game and finds ways to illegally gather information for Gordon and quickly begins to rise in the firm he works at. Hal Holbrook plays one of his bosses from the firm who actually tries to give him some good advice. His rise to the top may come at a great price however because money easily made can easily go as well.

Wall Street is a very smart drama/thriller that stands out because it has some great characters that we can identify with. Michael Douglas is at his best playing Gordon and the scene where he gives the speech about money and greed is just memorable, Charlie Sheen is also great in his role as an aspiring stockbroker who wants to succeed in what he does. He is so blinded by his worshipping of Gekko that he does things he probably never would`ve thought of doing before. He wants to become Gordon so bad that he doesn`t realize that what he is doing is wrong. He actually thinks he isn`t hurting anyone in the process. At one point he has a serious conversation with his father about his job and Carl tells him to ¨ stop going for the easy buck and start producing something with your life. Create, instead of living off the buying and selling of others. ¨ In a way it might be the advice Oliver Stone was trying to give us about Wall Street, too much greed could end up bringing the downfall of the entire system. This is a great movie whether you are into economics or not and can be enjoyed for the performances alone. I don`t know much about economics and stocks, but I still found this movie highly entertaining with some great characters so I recommend this.

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