DIRECTED BY OLIVER STONE
STARRING: SHIA LABEOUF, MICHAEL DOUGLAS, CAREY MULLIGAN, JOSH BROLIN, ELI WALLACH, SUSAN SARANDON AND FRANK LANGELLA
‘Wall Street 2’ or rather ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ makes sense from the first scene and sticks to its point from there on – except that it really doesn’t have much to say. I mean, I look at Gordon Gekko, I see Hannibal Lecter, like turning an edge against another, like a common enemy and hence a friend, but it’s just not going to be as simple as that. Things are interweaved, it’s easier thus to navigate between character-interactions, Winnie (Carey Mulligan) shares a common knot. Of course, Jacob Moore (Shia Labeouf) does too and so does Bretton James. I guess I don’t even have to mention Mr. Gekko in this list.
What I mean to say is that it’s much easier on the writer’s part to construct a scenario, but where it stands on shaky grounds is based on the fact there’s actually no ground at all. The factor of ‘greed’ taking a Buddhist turn appears to be at the forefront, the girl helps hold things up tight in the middle and stop people from falling apart. There’s not much of a pushing force to alienate the characters either way, Bretton James is easily way less fierce than Gekko from ‘Wall Street’ the original. True, Josh Brolin underperforms too, he should probably get back to the storyboard on ‘W’ instead of trying to motorcycle his way ahead – he’s hardly the shark he’s supposed to be. I think I’m mistaken, though, I think I’ve completely got the wrong end of the thread. Maybe I’m antagonizing the wrong person that my choice leaves me hardly shaken, despite one of my character-liaisons Louis Zebel (Frank Langella) bows out in front of a subway train.
Maybe it’s all about the market, as less as we see about it. This is a film where we hear more than we see; more than we feel. I can swear that I found more impact in a film like ‘the Girlfriend Experience’ than this one, despite all the hype and humdrums – at least in terms of being hit by the recession. I see people walking around with their foreheads wrinkled, palms on their faces, sobriety hovering around, but I really don’t get to ‘be’ there. I guess you’d get that right if you got your hands on this one.
I really do not want to call this film unconvincing, though. I’m torn between staying loyal to character consistencies and further development, radical changes, what not. It’s like liking ‘Spiderman 3’ because of a Stan Lee craze – entirely misdirected as it sounds. Am I to marvel at Mr. Gekko’s line-dropping, be it the ‘if someone took this place right now, there’d be no one left to rule the world’ or the ‘three words: Buy my book’, which certainly appears to be more effective, or should I seriously take the point of this film into consideration and hence call it a pot-boiler without much of places to stick it on? I’ve got no complaints regarding Shia Labeouf (this guy needs something bigger is all I can say) or Carey Mulligan, who ends up more or less the doll-face despite discontent with being the same, particularly because of this fact that when I see them, I see two people as one and not as two people trying to work something out. It’s not Bud Fox laying around with a Daryl Hannah prototype, this tends to make sense. And honestly, it could have been loads better if they didn’t inhabit a room with such a view – that’s like a blooper, a camera where it’s not supposed to be. A literal boom-mike fiasco.
I do not have a verdict on this one. I guess I watched it through, I liked the things I ought to like, there’s still a bit of faith on line-dropping and youthful extravagance, and I walked on the other parts. Hey, at least I didn’t sleep on them! (this to you, Mr. Eli Wallach)