Writer: Syahida KamarudinWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Wall Street” (1987), “The Firm”, “The Devil’s Advocate”
"The mother of all evil is speculation."
As the highly resourceful Gordon Gekko puts it, this film is indeed about that - how speculation makes its way through stock exchange and crushes the economy. At least, that's how the 1929 Great Depression came about. And in the midst of the ruthless world of market capitalism is where the story begins.
23 years after the critically acclaimed "Wall Street" first premiered in the US, Oliver Stone returns to the director's seat for the sequel, "Money Never Sleeps", centering on junior broker Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf) who finds himself entangled in a personal vendetta over his mentor's death and his relationship with Winnie Gekko (Carey Mulligan) while trying to understand her underlying hatred for her father, the infamous Wall Street player turned white-collar criminal, Gordon Gekko.
Flashback to the original 1987 movie - ambitious junior stockbroker Bud Fox meets corporate raider Gekko (Michael Douglas) to learn the tricks of the trade but in the end becomes the person who puts Gekko in jail using his own game. Flash forward to the present and Gekko has now done time, emerging as a book author and changed man (or so we think).
Reprising his role as Gekko, Michael Douglas proves that with age comes depth. Gekko is the Hannibal Lecter of Wall Street, a gentleman in disguise who takes advantage of any dire situation. And even though this reviewer was a bit sceptical about LaBeouf playing a stockbroker (while his "Even Steven" grin is still plastered all over his face), it slowly makes sense as his character is a bit naive in a way - signifying his understanding of the game and yet innocently trusting the people in it. Watch out for Charlie Sheen who also makes a five-minute appearance as Bud Fox.
The movie might be a little hard to swallow at times, as it is filled with the usage of financial jargons, and at times feels like a mockumentary of America's financial troubles instead of a solid film, especially the scene with Gekko giving a talk about finance. One will have to listen carefully to fully understand what it is all about. Fortunately, the plot is not as difficult to fathom as the subject matter, and putting aside all the Wall Street slangs, it is nothing but a story of deceit, familial responsibility, loyalty and a whole lot of vengeance.Cinema Online, 17 September 2010