I belched when I heard that Shia LaBeouf was playing the lead in the sequel to Wall Street which I did a retro review on here. It was bad enough that they were doing a follow up to one of the most iconic film of the 80s but to choose a dud to play the lead was a really bad start. I have only seen LaBeouf in one film, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, where he played the geeky Sam Witwicky to perfection but as far as I was concerned he should not be mentioned in the same breath as the mighty Gordon Gekko. So off I traipsed down to my local cinema to have a peep at Wall Street: Money Never Sleepsto find out if my initial concerns were right. The film commences with Gordon Gekko played by Michael Douglas being released from jail, now this bit is hilarious because it really demonstrates how Wall Street symbolised the era of the 80s. As with prison protocol Gekko is reunited with the possessions he walked into prison with; a rolex watch, a gold money clip and a mobile phone as large as brick. Now this made me laugh out loud. The second bit that made me laugh was when Gekko walks out of the prison and sees a limo headed towards him which he automatically assumes is his but turns out to be for some rapper from nowhere who is being picked up by his homies. You begin to emphasise with Gekko then because not only has no-one come to pick him up, life has simply moved on without him.
Now onto the story; Jake Moore played by Shia LaBeouf is the Bud Fox of this movie. Jake is a successful trader who is also in a long term relationship with Winnie played by Carey Mulligan and coincidentally Gekko's estranged daughter. At work Jake is mentored by Lewis Zabel, whose major investment bank, Keller Zabel is in serious financial trouble. When Keller Zabel like all the other investment banks crash Zabel is refused a bank bailout by Bretton James played by James Brolin the CEO of Churchill Schwartz and is forced to sell his stock to Bretton at a pittance. Totally broken and with no way out, Zabel commits suicide leaving Jake devastated. However he takes on Zabel's advice to marry Winnie and create a life outside of work. In the meantime Gekko seems to have reinvented himself as some sort of financial guru with bestselling books and sold out lectures warning people about the pending economic downturn. After attending one of his lectures Jake seeks him out and introduces himself as Winnie's future husband and the two men strike up a 'friendship'. Gekko more or less informs Jake that it was Bretin who is responsible for Zabel's downfall and Jake plans his revenge. They make a deal that Jake will reunite Gekko with his daughter and in return Gekko will supply Jake with information that will destroy Bretton.
I thought the whole scenario of the film was ludicrous; the soon to be son-in-law of Gekko forming alliances with him in return for getting him his daughter back who blames him for her brother committing suicide. It was all so cliche. Strange as I don't remember Gekko having two kids - a baby yes but not two children. I also thought that the story was too overloaded with Bretton as the villain, Jake as the wide-eyed kid and Gekko now as some sort of anti-hero. Another criticism was Winnie - I found her to be really soppy and I hated her whole left wing philosophy along with her trendy left website. It just seemed so fake and an obvious set up to polarise her from her father. We are supposed to buy into the theory that an avid believer of left wing politics who invests lots of money into a political website is about to marry a money obsessed banker who is not too different from her father? Finally my first reaction was correct, Shia LaBeouf was all wrong for this, he is just simply too bland. They should have gone for Ed Westwick aka Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl. One good thing about the film is the way they incorporate the current financial situation with the collapse of the banks and traders losing their jobs. Also I like the fact that greed is still a running theme in the movie on different levels for example Jake's former care worker turned real estate mother who is obsessed with making money. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps starts off really well but then skids to a screechy halt. I would advise you to wait for it to come out on DVD. Oh and Bud Fox played by Charles Sheen makes a cameo in the film, blink and you miss it.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is out in cinemas now.
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