¨So, does Blue Horseshoe still love Anacott Steel? ¨
This quote was from Charlie Sheen`s cameo in Oliver Stone`s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which only served as a reminder of how good the original film was and how distant the sequel is from it. The film began with a lot of promise and I thought there was little anyone could do to mess it up considering Michael Douglas was back with one of his best roles as Gordon Gekko. The problem is that with time and life in prison Gekko has changed and he isn`t that powerful person he once was. The major problem I had with this movie was the ending which I thought was way too soft and it seemed as if Stone sold out to the typical Hollywood ending, which was nothing like the finale in the first part. However this isn`t a bad movie, it just isn`t as good as Wall Street because Gekko isn`t as bad a villain as he was in 1987. If you`ve seen this and haven`t seen the first film then make sure you do because I guarantee you will enjoy Douglas`s Oscar winning role as Gordon in that movie more than in this one. Oliver Stone is known for always bringing the best out of his cast and this movie is no exception. I really enjoyed the supporting cast, especially Frank Langella, Josh Broslin, and Eli Wallach who were really great in every scene they were in. Shia LaBeouf is no Charlie Sheen, but he wasn`t bad in this film either, and one can say Carey Mulligan is a much better actress than what Daryl Hannah was in Wall Street. I know they are different characters, but they are similar players in similar roles. The screenplay was written by Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff, but it wasn`t as powerful as Weiser`s original screenplay.
The movie begins in 2001 with Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) being released from a long jail sentence. No one is there to pick him up and it is obvious that things have changed for him over the years. The movie then jumps forward to 2008 and introduces us to Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf), a young man who works at a banking institution named Keller Zabel Investments and who is trying to raise money for a fusion research project. His boss is Lewis Zabel (Frank Langella) and he is like a father figure for him because he has taught him everything he knows about being a broker. Zabel gives Jacob a bonus for his work, but at the same time he seems depressed because the company has been losing money due to the financial crisis that has hit everyone. Jacob decides to buy a nice ring with the money given to him and propose to his beautiful girlfriend Winnie (Carey Mulligan) who actually happens to be Gordon`s daughter who has broken all ties with her father after his arrest that led to her brother`s death from drug overdose. Gekko wrote a book during his time in jail and now he finds himself promoting it throughout different colleges. Jacob goes to one of these lectures and tells Gordon that he is planning on marrying his daughter. They begin to hang out secretly and Gekko explains to Jacob what may have caused Zabel to have recently committed suicide. He says that Bretton James (Josh Broslin), a successful broker, began rumors to hurt Zabel`s company and benefit from its demise. Jacob swears he will get his revenge, but the question is whether his relationship with Gordon will affect his relationship with Winnie, and whether or not he can actually trust him.
Gordon Gekko was a true villain in the 80`s although many people actually bought into his philosophy once the movie was released. Now a couple of decades later he is more of in a grey area. The true villain is Bretton James, and I thought that was one of the things that hurt the film, because Gekko made a terrific villain and there was no need to soften him in this film. One of the best scenes in this movie is the lecture that he gives at Jacob`s alma matter about the foreseeable financial crises. It was reminiscent of the speech he gave in the first film about money and greed. That was the highlight of the film, while on the downside you have the washed down Hollywood ending. The film had the potential to be a lot better than it actually was if it focused more on the economic aspect and less on the melodrama and relationships between Gordon and his daughter and Jacob with Winnie. This isn`t a bad movie, but I still recommend the first one over this any day. One thing is certain, Michael Douglas won`t win another Oscar for this version of Gekko.