We waited a long time for this movie to be released. It was originally scheduled to hit the big screen in February 2010, then April 2010, and finally in September 2010. A later date is often chosen so that the movie might be well-remembered and could contend for an Academy Award the following March. Unfortunately, I found the movie to be trite and unworthy of the huge hype that was delivered pre-release.
As we all know, this film is a sequel to the 1987 award-winning movie simply titled Wall Street. The last time we met Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, he was being led away to prison for his insider trading crimes. We now encounter him again, eight years later and out of prison, touting his book and giving lectures to rapt audiences throughout the country.
In the sequel, Gordon has a twenty-something daughter Winnie, played by Carey Milligan, although they have been estranged for many years. Winnie’s boyfriend Jake, a Wall Street broker portrayed by Shia LaBeouf, meets Gordon and arranges a dinner for three in hopes of a reconciliation of the father and daughter. It doesn’t work on the first try.
We are introduced to the shady dealings of some Wall Street denizens although the devious manipulations and back-stabbing are beyond the understanding of the average citizen. The evil antagonist, Bretton James, played so well by Josh Brolin, son of James, had testified against Gordon Gekko resulting in his prison sentence. Still up to his nasty tricks, Bretton James’ exploitation of the market affects his enemies as well as his friends.
Susan Sarandon has a small role as Jake’s mother, a realtor. I could not help wondering what her purpose was in the movie. She didn’t help to move the story along, except to borrow money from her wealthier son Jake. Charlie Sheen had a cameo role, reprising his character Bud Fox who also went to prison along with his boss, Gordon Gekko. Bud became a successful millionaire after his short stint in prison and was living the high life.
I think Shia LaBeouf was the best part of this movie. An upcoming young actor, he is good at his craft and has great appeal to women. I look forward to seeing him in many movies in the future.
Although Michael Douglas won an Academy Award in 1988 for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, I doubt if he will reprise this honor. His role did not require any extraordinary acting ability. In fact, in most scenes he appeared bored with his work. I have always admired Michael Douglas, however, and was sad to learn that he is fighting throat cancer. The latest update on this is that his treatment of chemotherapy and radiation is shrinking the tumor. We wish him well on this journey.
Please click here to read my review of the 1987 movie Wall Street.
Movie – Wall Street – Money Never Sleeps (2010)