Quick Thoughts: Wall Street 2

 

 

Managed to catch up with one Gordon Gekko after leaving him destined for prison over twenty years ago. A lot has changed since then and if Mr. Gekko had remained on the scene over the years, he might find he’s actually a pretty small fish in an awfully big pond with a lot larger fish to fry. Still, he’s as slick and sly as always once he gets a foot in the door.

I quite enjoyed the newest film from Oliver Stone, his first true sequel. The plot is a little bit all over the place and not quite towards which direction it wants to go, but for the most part stays on course to a semi-satisfying conclusion, despite a detour here or there.

Douglas doesn’t get quite as much screen time as I had hoped and I thought of a few ways in which he could’ve been incorporated into the story a little bit more prominently or sensational. Not to say he doesn’t have considerable screen time, because he’s as good as ever when he’s there.

Shia LeBeof was quite the promising young star in the first few films he made. In the past few years however he seems to be willing to accept the paycheck jobs in rubbish like the Transformers and the unfortunate business of the Indiana Jones comeback. I was surprised to find him back in top form here with a little bit more to do than act against a green screen with giant robots that aren’t there or a team of angry spider monkeys. He’s given 90% of the acting legwork here and carries it nicely.

Carey Mulligan is making the name for herself that was nonverbally promised after the greatness in An Education. She continues to shine in role after role and I believe an Oscar is already waiting for her sometime in the near future. In fact, with the exception of Susan Sarandon, all of the side characters don’t feel as though they’re just phoning it in either. Eli Wallach, Frank Langella and Josh Brolin all bring some pretty fun scenery to the screen.

The real fun here though is listening to all of the snappy (albeit at times corny) dialogue that is continually spewed from all of the filthy rich vermin portraying the men who “really rule the world.” It’s a fast world and you have to be able to talk fast. The writers seem to realize this and his characters glaze the English language with an icing unlike anyone I’ve ever met; and it’s a whole lot of fun keeping up with it even if I don’t completely understand exactly all of the ins and outs of the financial details.

All in all this was some good fun with some big stars who deliver their lines with gusto and flair. I enjoyed watching Gekko try to make a comeback in a world that has left him in the dust – both personally and professionally. The doomsday scenario painted is relevant today (if a little bit heavy handed) and displayed in a way that is quite fascinating. I’m not sure Stone is saying much that we don’t already know, but how he says it is a pretty good romp.

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Darcy McCallum
Guest

Shia LaBouef for me was the reason this film felt scattered, his through line is suppoosed to be the emoitional centre, this is the third film i've seen him in (disturbia, indy 4) he is such a poser and has no charm or humor in his body, compare that to Michael Douglas, the only actor who brings it (has good lines as well)

Josh Brolin is clearly cast by Stone cause he looks like him, his side-plot as well as Frank Langhella's make this film fell like a feature-length tv episode, something nostalgic for something else, like the last episode of the last season of something. I love my Oliver Stone, up till Any Given Sunday he'd made 11 films, 9 of which were at least 8.5/10. I did like it when this broke into 'rock'n'roll cinema' but with its flat 'bubble speeches' and empty Josh-Shia rivalry, i missed Bud, because like in the original (which I viewed last Thursday) Gekko only gets about 30% screen time which did prove enough, this film has no great scenes, the original probably 4. I'm not disappointed, i just know for sure that Stone dosen't have the energy or thought to get back to his OWN style. I wish Bardem got Brolins role now.

Marina Antunes
Admin

The closest I came to WALL STREET this weekend was buying a ticket to see it and sneaking into CATFISH which had sold out with our friend inside holding our seats.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

…And one cellular phone.

Yes, that pretty much says it all. I hate getting old!

Mike Rot
Member

I got around to seeing this and I generally liked it, I think its better than the first one, its definitely flawed but whatever. I have to think Stone watched Collapse because there are a few bits of dialogue strongly reminiscent of it, and the whole energy crisis angle. It is weird to see that stuff becoming mainstream fodder. I would say to really get the fear of God in you, skip Wall Street 2 and watch Inside Job instead.

Also going by what Gekko says in the film the proper title should have been

Wall Street: Money, the Bitch that Never Sleeps