Friday, 15 October 2010

REVIEW: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

I think Josh Brolin would rather be somewhere else right now.

Well what is there to say. But since you're here already I'll knock out something quick. Oliver Stone doesn't work without outrage. He just doesn't. Some have said that the problem with Stone is that as he's grown older, he's become more nuanced and that just doesn't work for him. I think this is giving him too much credit. Stone has never made a nuanced film, and never will make a nuanced film. He will get in your face as much now as he would in 1986. But now he has nothing left to say it seems, so while the same overwrought and unsubtle style is there, gone is the conviction, the righteousness and the vitality. You watch Salvador or Platoon, particularly Salvador, which might be the best film he's ever made contrary to the fact that no-one's seen it, and there's a power, a rawness that comes from authenticity.

But now Stone is just spitting dead air. Wall Street colon money never sleeps exists because Stone is a film-maker and he wants to make movies. It has no reason to exist, which is even more ridiculous because a film about the perils of corrupt finance has never been more timely or welcome, this film carefully tiptoes the stream, dipping into the real life financial crisis as minimally as possible, favouring instead to be a mediocre drama, full of predictable moments of mawkishness and fabrication. Perhaps its worth watching for Michael Douglas, who just as he did in the first one has the kind of magnetic presence where if he talks you listen. Douglas is kind of awesome, just as he is in pretty much everything. The movie around him may be a mess of a nervous wreck, wanting to be about one thing and the other but not really wanting to be about either. Shia LaBeouf isn't a bad actor necessarily, but he's a frickin loathsome one. In any context he just comes off a preppie spoiled douchebag, with way too much confidence for the person that he is. So when he's your lead and is supposed to be a likeable character, problems arise. Carey Mulligan is in this film for reasons indecipherable to me, playing a weak girlfriend role and leaving you thinking maybe if this film was about her instead of Shia it would be better. Josh Brolin is a serviceable villain, but one can't help but want for more Michael Douglas, who kind of floats around the side of the film, superfluous to the action but still kind of awesome.

Its a stock release, made to make money and an unnecessary sequel to a film that is fine all by itself, Its not terrible, and won't tarnish the original for you, but instead will be forgotten as soon as its walked through the door. The answer to an obscure trivia question ten years from now perhaps What was the sub-heading to the title of the shitty sequel to Wall Street. Money never sleeps, something that makes me cringe every time I type or say it. Anyways, it bears no thinking about.

Rating: 5/10

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