REVIEW: ‘Wall Street Money Never Sleeps’

Oliver Stone
Michael Douglas
Shia LaBeouf
Josh Brolin
Carey Mulligan
Eli Wallach
Frank Langella
Rated: PG-13

Money Never Sleeps is a great tagline for this film since it proves the statement to be true.

The film is a sequel to the 1987 picture that also starred Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko. However, the lead character of this film is played by Shia Lebouf. This time around, Lebouf plays Jake, a young man working at a bank in 2008 while at the same time building toward proposing to his girlfriend Winnie (Mulligan), who happens to be Gekko’s daughter.

Tensions start to rise all around Jake, though, as Gekko is released from prison, causing stress for Winnie. At the same time, Jake also has to deal with a volatile market.

This flick could have really been a great look inside the world of banking, especially considering what happened just two years ago on Wall Street. Instead of digging too deep into that world, though, the movie instead focuses more on Jake’s relationship with his girlfriend and his attempts to win over his boss.

While it’s understandable that the film had to give these characters some depth, much of the sub plots feel just melodramatic. Rather than being a fascinating look at the world of wall street, this just felt like a typical drama set on wall street.

At the very least, Gekko’s arc is fun to watch and Douglas knocks it out of the park with his performance. However, he isn’t given nearly enough screen time to do the film much justice.

While Douglas did steal the show when he was on screen, credit still has to go to LaBeouf, who carried many of the scenes and did so well. He played the role how it was needed, giving the right sense of urgency when markets started falling.

I may have been expecting too much from Wall Street, but it just felt like the story didn’t take vert many chances when dealing with such a huge topic. Because of the performances, though, it’s worth a watch on DVD. 2 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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