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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Is Greed Ever Justified?
What is the definition of insanity? One could say that the definition of a insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. However, if that's true, then aren't we all crazy then? Maybe not all at once, but maybe at different times if that's the case. Therefore, wouldn't our capitalistic society be deemed crazy then? After all, there's no secret that our stock markets have crashed various times throughout our history. Sure, you can argue that we've always managed to pull out of it before, but the results are hardly different, as the cycle continuously repeats itself. Where the most ruthless and cut throat businessman can make it ahead in Wall Street, while the honest man gets left in the dust. Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) argues that greed is good, and it's the foundation of our economy. Is that true? Is greed actually good for society? If so, where does the sense of morality and humanity fit in within a world consumed by power and greed?
Set a little over two decades since the last movie, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is about a young up and coming Wall Street player a named Jake Moore (Shia LeBeouf), who works as a stockbroker, while moon lighting as a corporate CEO for an alternative energy source company. Unfortunately due to a series of events, his long time mentor commits suicide when the stress of losing his company gets to him, as a savvy investor moves in and forces him out.
As the global economy teeters on the brink of disaster, Jake partners with disgraced former Wall Street corporate raider Gordon Gekko on a two-tiered mission: To alert the financial community to the coming doom, and to find out who was responsible for the death of Jake's mentor. Unfortunately for Jake, Gordon has other priorities in mind outside of rekindling things with his daughter, Jake's fiancé. Now, I won't say what happens next, as I wouldn't want to ruin the film. However, for those wondering if Gordon Gekko is a changed man or if he learned anything about life from losing it all, at the end of the last film, to becoming rich again, then all I can tell you is that you'll have to watch the movie to find out.
Trust me, it's worth it. The way the story is set up, it has it leading towards one way to where you'll think you have Gordon figured out, but he does the complete opposite that shocks you. Like the last movie, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is a powerful film about the dangers of capitalism, corporate greed, while begging to ask the eternal question...."In world consumed by greed, where does humanity and compassion come into play?" Back in the eighties, the first "Wall Street" played on that concept quite beautifully, as corporate greed dominated Wall Street during that era of our society. Therefore, it seems only fitting that the sequel shows the consequences of that same corporate greed within today's struggling economy.
As some of you can tell by now, I did like this movie a lot. In fact, I thought Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf worked extremely well together. Although if I had some major gripes about this movie, that I'm sure casual viewers won't notice, but they're worth noting. One, being the relationship between Jake and Gordon, as it comes off being too eerily similar to the relationship between Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) and Gordon Gekko's relationship in the last movie. Sure, there's a few scenario changes here and there regarding the factor of Gordon's daughter being involved, and how the evil corporate prick is actually Bretton James (Josh Brolin) this time around, but it still feels eerily similar. Although I will admit, Josh plays a pretty good jerk.
Another problem I had was the reappearance and explanation of what happened to Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), from the last movie. Don't get me wrong, I understand with this being a sequel, they wanted to put some closure towards that character, but I preferred the mystery. If anything, the self proposed new closure to Bud Fox's life not only has nothing to do with the main story of the sequel, it contradicts the powerful morally driven ending that made the last film so potently deep. As for his daughter...where the hell did she come from? In the last movie, he didn't have a daughter, but he did have a son. Oh well. I guess they can always justify it, as Gordon's family was rarely in the last film to begin with.
Outside of those few gripes, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is a powerful emotional film that speaks true about the corporate greed of our modern society, while begging to ask the eternal question...."Where is our sense of humanity and compassion within this world consumed by greed?" Definitely worth a three out of four, as Oliver Stone manages to once again present a powerful film about our modern times, as only he can.