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Preview review: 'Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps'

January 29, 2010 |  5:13 pm

Ever since it was announced that Oliver Stone was finally ready to tackle a sequel to the classic 1987 film "Wall Street," film fans have questioned how the director will handle a new and arguably more challenging economic climate. While a newly released trailer for "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps" doesn't give much away, it does drop us right back into the fast-paced, "Greed is good" world of executive Gordon Gekko.

As seen in the trailer, Michael Douglas' character -- reprising the role that scored him an Oscar -- emerges  from a long stint behind bars. He's eager to return to his old ways, but the trailer makes clear that it's not going to be easy for Gekko to immediately get back into the swing of things: As he exits jail, he's handed his clunky old mobile phone and there's no limo ready to pick him up.

Other than flashy aerial shots of New York City, we don't get to see much of the film's other players: Gekko's daughter (Carey Mulligan), whom he's trying to reconnect with, and her fiance (Shia LaBeouf), whom he befriends. We see the least of Mulligan, who is only shown in a flimsy oversized boyfriend shirt, typing away at a laptop in her swanky apartment. LaBeouf, who plays a character named Jacob, is shown dressed in expensive-looking tailored suits, riding through the city streets on a motorcycle or flying above them in a helicopter. We get the sense LaBeouf''s character will attempt to serve as some type of moral compass for Gekko, or at least a worthy adversary: "No matter how much money you make, Mr. Gekko, you'll never be rich," he tells his soon-to-be father-in-law in the trailer.

By comparison, it's pretty amusing to watch the trailer for the original 1987 film starring Charlie Sheen, who makes a cameo in the new film. (Check out the old school cellphones and computers!)

So, do you think the new film will be able to live up to the original? Is Shia LaBeouf as charming a leading man as Charlie Sheen was over two decades ago? Will a film about the greed on Wall Street prove to be timely or didactic? Weigh in in our poll below.

-- Amy Kaufman

Comments () | Archives (8)

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First, huge fan of the original (Did not find Charlie Sheen even remotely 'charming'). I don't recall the Gekko character having a daughter, but a chubby little son named Rudy. The story would have been far more interesting if it were about Rudy grown and following in his father's footsteps. Right away from the preview, this film appears largely as a re-hashed cliche of the original movie we have already seen. Frankly, I am beginning to wonder if Stone is capable of making a contemporary movie or even any film in which female characters have actual roles of value. Another sequel, but not quite a sequel, disappointment.

I enjoyed WALL STREET, hope this one is better. Don't go to the movies much, usually watch stuff at home.

i am actually really excited about this movie. i refuse to believe that all of these great actors came together on this project simply for money (although that would be ironic). i'm really curious to see if gordon gekko can really be reformed.

I disagree, the best follow-up to 'Wall Street' was 'American Psycho'. It was already done.

In contrast, this will be at best, a reunion type of nostalgia for the original Don of insider trading. The Street, in the 2000 decade, was too transparent and phony, a collusion of hedge funds and commercial banks.

And Gecko wasn't the only person predicting a bubble burst in 2008, there were many others out there but when real estate 'only goes up', the derivatives party continues.

The trailer looks good, hopefully the movie will depict how the things work in real life, just like in the first Wall Street, and hopefully Gekko will not become a Saint, that would be ridiculous. It would be better if he would get caught at his own game by an even greedier Wall Street guy, in the end that's the only lesson this type of guys can understand. I am not a big fan of Shia, Leonardo would have probably been a much better choice since in my opinion he can convey drama much more easily. Josh Brolin could be a good idea, but I am waiting on the movie to see if Stone did a good job or not.

looking forward to seeing this,the original is a classic,great prodigy.

I was a very poor college student from an even poorer family. When I was in college, I saw Wall Street. Wall Street inspired me to teach myself to trade stocks. As a result, I am now a member of the comfortable upper middle class. The film taught me two lessons: 1) If you are smart and apply yourself, you can acquire wealth. 2) If you are a pig, you can lose everything you worked for. That is what is great about the original story. It shows the upside and the downside. Let see if the new film teaches us anything new.

Like all great art the first movie served as a rorshac for the state of our individual consciousneses concerning capitalism at the time. Cyclical economics is real, each generation must come to terms with the potential destruction of unbridaled greed. Could it be that capitalism is the worst form of economic organization with the exception of the rest? (to twist and paraphrase Churchill). Hopefully this movie will affect a lot of people on a level more profound than than just "Ferraris and jets are kool". As is; our world large enough to pick our own sandboxes with a clean consious and create relevant economic activity. If you don't like the game others play; don't play it.


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