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@
daytoncitypaper.com


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

The art of organization

Yellow Springs Artist Studio Tour & Sale returns By Alyssa Reck Photo: Elaine Lamb of Mud Mothers Pottery will showcase […]

Waste not

The Plastic World of Mary Ellen Croteau By Shayna V. McConville Photo: Mary Ellen Croteau, “Endless Columns,” plastic bottle caps […]

On not getting by in Dayton

The long-term effects of poverty By A.J. Wagner I have been penning “Law and Disorder” for the Dayton City Paper […]

News of the weird 10/14

By Chuck Shepherd Lead Story – Bionic shoes Police in Japan’s Kyoto Prefecture raided a shoe manufacturer in July and […]

Advice Goddess: 10/14

By Amy Alkon Fasten your Bible belt My boyfriend and I are spending Christmas with his family. I like them […]

Advice Goddess

By Amy Alkon Heavy meddle Is it okay to keep your income a secret from someone you’re dating? I recently […]