Is Greed Good? That is the running question and theme of the new movie and sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps! Since the original film, corporate money maker Gordon Gekko (played again brilliantly by Michael Douglass) spent 8 years in prison for insider trading and was released in 2001! Fast forward 7 years later and he is now a lecturer and author of the new book, “Is Greed Good?” He has been touring about the country promoting the book which captures the attention of Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf) a bright and ambitious young Wall Street trader who happens to be dating Gordon’s daughter Winnie Gekko (played by Carey Mulligan). How ironic that the man she loves (Jake) is also involved in the same field of expertise as the very man she despises (her Father) because of his corrupt business ways and how it tore their family apart!
When the company Jake works for Keller Zabel Investments (a banking institution) starts to lose money and eventually goes under, he gets wind that there may have been more than just a struggling economy behind their demise, but foul play from a competitor. During this time Jake also takes the time to reach out to his girl Winnie’s dad (Gordon) to see if he can get the two to reconcile! After a couple of meeting of the minds between Jake & Gordon, Gekko tips Jake off about the person possibly responsible for the demise of his business mentor’s (Louis Zabel, played by Frank Lagella) company, a businessman named Bretton James (played devilishly well by Josh Brolin).
The plot thickens when after pulling a few insider corporate tricks, Jake gets the attention of Bretton, who actually offers him a job with his own company (starting @ $300k at that). So now Jake plans on using his close access to Bretton to find out his exact involvement with Kabel Zeller going under and expose it. He has had less success so far in trying to reconcile the relationship between Winnie & Gordon. Winnie is still very suspicious of Gordon’s true intentions, and warns Jake of Gordon’s selfish, evil ways which she believes will hurt them. Obviously I don’t plan on revealing any spoiler alerts here, so I will let you see the film for yourself to find out how things turned out. But one thing is for certain, it won’t be what you expected!
The one thing I really loved and appreciated greatly about Wall Street (M.N.S.) is that for a film that was a sequel to the original made over 20 years, the story and issues in it concerning Wall Street (corporate corruption, financial irresponsibility, fraud, greed, lies, deceit, etc.) are still frighteningly relative & current today! Michael Douglass plays Gekko like a charismatic & savvy veteran of the game (of Finance & Wealth), who is trying to earn his 2nd chance on the road to redemption. But at the same time, you’re never really quite sure when or if the old Gekko and his cut throat ways will rear their ugly head to try to stir things up, “corporate takeover” style. LeBeouf is always beloved in the role of the precocious, ambitious everyman, fighting the good fight!
The overall flow and vibe of the film seemed to play like art imitating life, as we all know the after effects the U.S. is still feeling behind the government bailouts for the banks due to the greed and shady practices with foreclosures on homes, interest on loans, etc. It will just be interesting to see now that everyone from the White House to Hollywood has exposed this level of greed and corruption that some of our business, banks and companies may have, will it pay to think and act as if “Greed is still good”? Only time will tell. So on scale of 1-5 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest I give Wall Street Money Never Sleeps 4 ½ stars. Till next time be safe and stay blessed.