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Sunday, 31 January 2010

Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (12A) ★★
To take down a merciless finance executive, a young trader agrees to a disgraced Wall street legend's proposal in exchange for the man to be reunited with his daughter, the trader's fiancée


Has there ever been a better time to make a movie which addresses the current financial problems we have at the moment? Or a better question could be do we want to be reminded that there doesn't seem to be any money out there? Either way here's Olive Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and the return of Gordon Gekko. Sort of.

For those reading this I'm assuming you've seen the original Wall Street, the story of Michael Douglas's Gordon Gekko, the financial shark who gets brought down by young upstart Charlie Sheen. Well this is a straight continuation of that story. Gekko, now out of jail is spending his time as an author, Shia Labeouf's Jake Moore takes over the Charlie Sheen role of the young hotshot out for revenge after his mentor in the financial world is drove to suicide by the new big shark in the water Josh Brolin's Bretten James. Add to this the fact Jake is engaged to Gekko's daughter and you can see where the story is going.

There was a time when an Oliver Stone film meant something. You knew you were going to get edgy, controversial, cutting edge film-making, something with a point, something that asked questions. Now however everything Stone does is non offensive and safe. Wall Street 2 is off the same product line as World Trade Centre, W and Alexander, by the number, enclosed and unencapsulating. Its this type of direction that rubs off on Michael Douglas and instead of getting the mean, cut-throat Gekko we were hoping for we get a standard, everyday lead character who brings nothing of interest to the film and a twist that is seen within minutes of meeting him.

What a disappointment this film turned out to be, Gekko turns into a bit-part player, Labeouf's Moore is a non-entity and the blankest character I've seen in ages and Brolin's James, who should be the guilty pleasure of the piece, is just the token bad guy with a fall you see coming a mile away. I also have to mention the Charlie Sheen cameo. I like cameos and nods to previous films but this was so out of place it was embarrassing. You can actually hear Oliver Stone shouting "Look your watching Wall Street 2, the sequel to Wall Street, and that's Charlie Sheen". Crikey.

The visuals of the film, the New York skylines being used as financial charts and panning shots of the area are breathtaking but this is the one and only redeeming feature. Stone for some bizarre reason also decides to use strange split screens and in one almost laugh out loud moment uses a circular split to cover someone's face whilst talking on the phone. Honestly it's like something out of Airplane.

I sat through the film awaiting the kick, the spark which would kick everything off but unfortunately this never came. 

So onto the ending. Christ this ending would be out of place at the end of the nicest, most cuddly Disney film ever made. There is a spoiler coming now (you'll see it coming a mile away anyway) so if you don't want to know the end stop reading now ........ Well the ending is.... everyone is the bestist friends ever , and there's a baby, and a party with balloons and dancing *vomits* Completely out of place and a head shaker in the worst possible terms.

Give this one a miss, unless you want the nicest ending since Pinocchio.



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