<p>Some movies are all talk. Money Never Sleeps is all jargon. </p>

Some movies are all talk. Money Never Sleeps is all jargon.

Going Green

The recession, as explained by Oliver Stone What better time than the tail-end of a recession for Oliver Stone to bring his inimitable money-grubber Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) back to the screen? In 1987’s original Wall Street, the trading wizard was our cartoonish symbol for the dark side of that era’s excess. Now, Gekko returns in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps as prophet of and guilt-bearer for our recent economic plunge. The original film left Gekko facing federal charges for insider trading, and the sequel meets up with him as he’s being released from prison. Skip ahead several years, and he’s a best-selling author, with a book decrying the sustainability of certain popular Wall Street practices. We also follow Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf), an aggressive young trader romantically entangled with Gekko’s estranged daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan). After his mentor’s (Frank Langella) suicide, Jake takes a liking to Gekko and a job with the equally lecherous power player Bretton James (Josh Brolin). Neither the friendship nor the job work out as planned. It’s basically a dramatization of mid-to-late 2008, when the first big banks began to collapse, done in the typical Stone fashion: heavily stylized and on the line between serious and satirical. There’s a love story too, of course. It’s of the tempestuous variety, between Jake and Winnie, and has some effective moments but ultimately tapers to an end that feels too slim and easy. On that note, LaBeouf and Mulligan certainly deserve credit for what works. Their performances here are so good you’ll think you’re watching a much better movie. And we can’t mention acting without Douglas’ perfectly over-the-top Gekko, sporting a quick mouth that seems to only produce catchphrases. Some movies are all talk. Money Never Sleeps is all jargon. And although most of us will only catch and vaguely comprehend little bits of the cryptic bank jabber thrown about, Stone is able to keep things oddly relatable and engaging, perhaps just out of force of habit (he’s been making these things for a while now, after all). As long as you don’t worry about following all the details, you’ll do fine. Stone’s delight in brining back Gekko seems to trump any anger he might have about the recession, which is unfortunate because what this movie needs most of all is a set of teeth. Ultimately, Money Never Sleeps is fun, occasionally fascinating and far from great, exactly like its predecessor. How many sequels accomplish that much? , GRADE: C+

posted at 08:08 pm
on Thursday, September 30th, 2010

COMMENTS

(We're testing Disqus commenting (finally!); please let us know if you have trouble.)

comments powered by Disqus

 

« Previous Page


Subversive Profundity

Much of the hoopla among critics surrounding writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film Inherent Vice has to do with its puzzling narrative structure, which is intentionally incoherent and...

more »


Lucy Goosey

It doesn’t work this way with people, but there’s a level of confident stupidity a movie can display that makes it endearing. Lucy is that kind of stupid. Cocksure and confidently, it swaggers...

more »


Ending in the Middle Earth

There are many things I don’t understand: quantum mechanics, car commercials, who put the bomp in the bomb bah bomp bah bomp. But chief among the perplexing unsolvables to me remains how people who...

more »


Everyone is Awful

Warning to newly engaged couples: Do not see Gone Girl, a movie that makes marriage look like The Hunger Games with slightly more alleged sodomy. Writer Gillian Flynn, adapting her own novel, filters...

more »


Worst. Children’s Book. Ever.

The horror genre is not my least favorite genre solely because white people keep making period costume dramas. At their worst, horror flicks revel in sadism and do so shoddily, with weak acting,...

more »







Advanced Search