Abzee’s review of WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS
Of Bears and Bulls
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Dir- Oliver Stone
Cast- Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon, Eli Wallach and Frank Langella
Not everyday can a sequel arrive 23 years after the original and still seem perfectly timed in its relevance. Oliver Stone, facing a phase of diminishing returns in his career this past decade, places his bets rather boldly on taking forward the story of one of his most iconic creations: the Michael Douglas essayed Gordon Gekko character from 1987â€™s Wall Street- the slick, suave and unscrupulous investor whose arbitrage and inside trading mechanics made him the unofficial yet undisputed Guru of the financial worldâ€¦ a character that has since that film assumed a position in everyday conversations at B-schools. So it is with some surprise then that the first time we hear Gekko (Douglas reprising his Academy Award winning role) speak in this film, he is posing a rejoinder to his own famous â€˜Greed Is Goodâ€™ remark from that earlier film, by asking us the question, â€œIs greed good?â€
It is a disconcerting, but a wise and apt move when you look at the movie backwards. When Stone made Wall Street back in â€™87, his intent was to open the eyes of the public, as he was wont to do in his investigative-journalist brand of filmmaking, to an impending financial doom that those suited auditors and bankers behind their ivory towers would bring upon the nation. Instead, the movie ended up spawning a generation of Gekkos- young students seduced by his power and wealth, stepping out of Ivy Leagues and straight into the corridors of your JP Morgans and what-have-you. So when a young Wall Street trader Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf) is imparted a cautionary lesson on the perils of what Gekko calls â€˜Steroid Bankingâ€™, we know that the aforementioned question is actually an astute observation… a wisdom gained after years of imprisonment for embezzlement and tax evasion.