Director: Oliver Stone
Running time: 133 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A
UK Release date: 6th October 2010
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 3rd September 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I must admit I did enjoy Oliver Stone’s 1987 film Wall Street, which tells the story of Gordon Gekko and how he manipulated people and events in order to make money. This cost him his liberty in the end, but as they say, that’s another story. This film picks up some time after that one left off with Gordon’s release from prison. It’s an interesting tale with quite a complicated plot, so no nipping out to make tea part way through now… Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
Having witnessed Gordon’s release from prison we are introduced to his daughter, Winnie and her boyfriend, Jake Moore. Jake works for a Wall Street investment bank, KZI, where he deals with investments into green energy. In particular he has one project that is looking into fusion to produce cheap energy and he’s trying find investors when things start to go wrong at KZI. Due to rumours the company crashes on the stock market and the head of the company, and Jacob’s friend, Louis Zabel commits suicide. After this Jacob reaches out to Gekko and, because he wants to re-connect with his daughter, Gekko agrees to help Jacob find who was behind the rumours. The finger points at another investment bank, Churchill Schwartz, and the head of that company, Bretton James. There is much more to this, it’s so much more than a straight forward tale of revenge. There are many more twists and turns in the road to come and questions to be answered, like; “Has Gekko really reformed?”… All this and more is revealed, but, of course, I can’t tell you that here or the Spoiler Police will have me for insider trading… (or some other trumped up charge).
I must first say that this film is beautifully shot, Stone certainly has an eye for the visuals and he uses it to great effect here. The use of graphics and split screen is all done very well and, for the most part, fits the story perfectly. And so we move on to performances; well I can’t fault Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko, it’s a part he made his own in the first film. Shia LaBeouf as Jacob Moore on the other hand, well I’m still waiting to be convinced by the young man, I don’t want to be disrespectful so I’ll leave it at that. I thought Carey Mulligan did a good job as Winnie Gekko but I felt her character had more depth than she was allowed to show. Frank Langella did a great job as Louis Zabel, as did Josh Brolin as Bretton James. It was nice to see small parts from; Eli Wallach as Julie Steinhardt, Susan Sarandon as Sylvia Moore, Jacob’s mother, and a very brief came from Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox (uncredited).
Although I did enjoy this film to some extent, Oliver Stone does make very long films and this sometimes means they take the story a little too far. I was quite enjoying this one for about an hour and forty minutes and then it started to drag. I don’t quite know if it was down to events happening on the screen or what, but I kind of lost interest. On the plus side, there are some good songs by David Byrne and Brian Eno which pop up every now and again. I found this quite a tough one to judge because we’re supposed to engage with people who control finances and those people, in my book, have been grossly discredited of late. It’s hard to feel sympathy for someone living in a very nice New York apartment bleating on about being poor! Ok, rant over… I guess this one is worth seeing if you’re a fan of the original; Michael Douglas is very good value.
My Score: 6.4/10.
IMDb Score: 6.3/10 (based on 31,178 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54/100 (based on 211 reviews counted at the time of going to press).