Sep 262010
 
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

“Blue horseshoe loves Anacott Steel.”  More than 20 years after Michael Douglas owned the screen as monstrous business mogul Gordon Gekko in the original “Wall Street” comes a new-agey sequel that reeks of a cash cow.

Rather than continue his analysis of the ultra-polarizing Gekko, director Oliver Stone has decided to create a pseudo-narration of the economic crisis and bank bailouts of 2008.

All of the big players are essentially here, in one way or another.  Stone calls his investment firm Churchill Schwartz, but it is Goldman Sachs at heart.  The major CEOs are represented here as well, one of whom is the Gekko poser Bretton James, played by Josh Brolin.        

Other than an all too brief cameo, Charlie Sheen’s Bud Fox is gone.  And in his place is Shia LaBeouf as Wall Street upstart/humanitarian wannabe, Jake Moore.

In a disappointing attempt to connect him to Gekko, the movie has Jake marrying Gekko’s daughter, resulting in Moore talking with him about daddy problems rather than stocks or business deals.  Their uninspiring scenes of sorting out family issues are a far cry from the raw interactions between Gekko and Fox in the original “Wall Street.”   

The differences between “Money Never Sleeps” and the first “Wall Street” movie are clear as day, most apparent of which is Douglas’ limited screen time.  He had the first movie wrapped around his fingers, and for some reason this new movie throws him to the wayside and focuses on LaBeouf’s career in the struggling business world.

This mistakenly puts Brolin in the menacing role that can only be filled by Douglas’ Gekko.  

Brolin and LaBeouf’s mentor-apprentice relationship pales in comparison to the tension between Douglas and Sheen in the original film.  

So I ask, what is the point of seeing “Wall Street” without Gordon Gekko?  

Skip “Money Never Sleeps” and seek out the original “Wall Street.”  

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:27 pm

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