Film Review ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’

Film Review ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’

Oliver Stone Warders Along Familiar Path

By T.T. Stern-Enzi

Michael Douglas In 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps'. Rated PG-13 Grade: C-

Yes, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) emerges from jail with his mobile phone and little else to his name and seeks to regain his status as a greedy master of the universe. We’re suckers enough to dance down Wall Street behind this silver-maned pied piper even though we know he’s up to no good because Douglas still has all of his rascally charm. It’s too bad though that Oliver Stone, as a filmmaker and social critic, has misplaced his once considerable gifts because he and Douglas might have been able to put the squeeze on us once again.

Instead, we find ourselves in the hands of a merely competent director who figured it might be fun to speculate on the financial market a bit by taking a look at the margins of the recent collapse and presenting a few cardboard cutouts as villains for audiences to shake their fists at. The chief mustache twirler is Bretton James (Josh Brolin) who had ties to Gekko from the early days to his downfall and eventual imprisonment, so you know there’s going to be a degree of comeuppance in the mix. Brolin seems to be Stone’s maliciously mannered (and potentially misunderstood) muse, but here, unlike in W, we get the sense that the narrative and the lack of perspective on the events covered have conspired to present him as little more than a one-armed plot contrivance.

The real story, such as it is, centers on Gekko’s manipulation of his daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan) and her naive boyfriend Jake (Shia LaBeouf), an eager beaver of a Wall Street guy with green energy dreams. Jake loves Winnie, but soon realizes that there are more reasons to love her than he knew, but Gordon threatens to steal everything in what amounts to a credit default swap.

None of it makes any sense and it means even less, but the whole episode reminds us that you can never sleep on a sneaky old master of the game. Maybe Stone took some lessons from Douglas and will come back next time with something worth our time and money.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps can be seen
at Rave The Greene 14, Rave Dayton South
and more

Reach DCP film critic
T.T. Stern-Enzi at contactus@

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Venting for the voiceless

Author Justin Curtis’s Troy-inspired novel By Katie Fender Photo: “Plight of the Downtrodden,” by Justin Curtis Troy native and author […]

Art & Soul

Yellow Springs’ art fair connects art to community By Tara Pettit Photo: The Art & Soul Fair takes place from […]

Be Well, Marsha 11/17/15

The slower seasons By Marsha Bonhart I have a friend whom I adore. I don’t always understand her, but she’s […]

Three artists. Three days. One lock.

‘Locked In’ on art at Yellow Springs Arts Council By Joyell Nevins Photo: [l-r] Artists Brandon Lowery, Nathaniel Foley and […]

Ask Rocco 11/17/15

Who the hell is Tony Zale anyway? By Rocco Castellano Photo: Boxer Tony Zale knocks Rocky Graziano to the ground […]

March of the Turkeys

The Turkey Trot tradition treks on By Don Hurst Photo: The Ohio River Road Runners Club 37th Annual Turkey Trot […]