Saturday 19 January 2019

Greed isn't so good in Lame Gekko sequel

Money Never Sleeps -- but you might just doze off during the first hour or so watching the Wall Street sequel.

Yes, Gordon Gekko's back, but he's sadly consigned to the second half of this latest moral tale from director Oliver Stone.

It opens with a brief scene involving Gekko -- providing one of the few laughs of the movie when he's handed a brick of an '80s mobile phone on leaving jail.

But it soon cuts to the life of his now grown-up daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan), seven years later, and living with Wall Street hot-shot Jacob "Jake" Moore (Shia LaBeouf).

It's a bit ironic that she hates her dad, but lives with a money man -- but he's kind of cuddly and likes to invest in green things.

But there's trouble at Moore's brokerage firm, run by his father-figure Louis Zabel (Frank Langella). When his company is brought down by the scheming of a latter-day Gekko, Bretton James (Josh Brolin), Moore vows revenge.

A softer-seeming Gekko, played with easy assurance by Michael Douglas, soon comes back on the scene, and tries to get back into his estranged daughter's life through Moore.

In a series of convoluted plots, which at times overwhelm the viewer, Moore takes a job with Bretton James and learns that he, and not Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), was the scheming scumbag who condemned Gekko to years behind bars.

Soon, Oliver Stone is back where he's happiest, showing scene after scene of yelling stockbrokers and whirling figures, and hammering home the message that greed is bad, bad, bad.

If you can get over the fact that Mulligan's and LaBeouf's characters are, well, dull, you'll enjoy Wall Street -- if only for Gekko.

But the plot is muddled, there's not enough Gekko, and the twist has more signpoints than the M50. Recommended, with caution.

DVD extras: Zilch (do I see the wheels of commerce working on a special edition in the future?)

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