RANT: The boys from work and I finally got a chance to get to the movie house to see the "Wall Street" sequel. There were a couple of other groups of people in the audience. You know what I hate? I hate it when you are watching a movie, and an old lady who is hard of hearing needs to explain an obvious plot point. The rest of us know that the viewing of an ultrasound reinforces the fact that someone was earlier announced to be pregnant. You would think that the older set would have more movie decorum.
Oliver Stone returns to direct the sequel of his 1987 "Wall Street". Written by Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff, Michael Douglas returns as Gordon Gekko, the Wall Street inside trader who finishes serving 8 years in federal prison and emerges to the fanfare of no one. Almost 8 years later, Gekko is on the speaking circuit and peddling his new book. Enter Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf), a Wall Street trader trying to look for the next "bubble" with fusion energy development and dating Gordon Gekko's daughter Winnie.
When rumors start about the stability of Moore's investment house at the start of the Wall Street collapse, Moore's mentor Louis Zabel (Frank Langella) loses control of the investment bank to Bretton James' (Josh Brolin) firm, and eventually commits suicide. As Jake tries to make sense of how his job has become obsolete and how Zabel could end it all, he attends a seminar with speaker Gordon Gekko. Confronting Gekko afterward, they begin a barter system where Gekko tries to reassert himself into his daughter's life in exchange for Gekko providing Moore pointers and inside information against the man he feels responsible for the downfall of his career.
I could go on and on about the plot points of the film, but the real star of the movie, aside from Gekko, is the subject matter. So relevant to the current economic climate, the issues of the recession runs deep. "Wall Street" brings to light how fragile and fluid our futures are, based on the speculations of a chosen few. Jake tells Winnie in the middle of the film that Americans are sold and believe the fairy tale, but want the truth. With the oh-so-real collapse of the US and world economies, the bursting of the housing market bubble, and the general knowledge that what used to work when it came to the financial markets doesn't work anymore, we face a uncertain future and the next generations face an even more uncertain future.
Oliver Stone weaves the return and fate of Gekko with the breed of a new generation of Wall Streeters in the image of Jake Moore. He exposes the integration of investment banks, the US Treasury, and massive bailouts. He uses the music and style of the original film with the sequel, showing us that no matter the decade greed is always greed, excess is always excess, and the best intentions usually have the most severe consequences.
I am also trying out a new rating system shown below based on reader reaction to my somewhat complex monetary rating scale. I will give both ratings and see what kind of reaction I muster. A movie can receive up to 5 popcorn buckets. Why popcorn buckets? Because I am a slave to the thousand + calorie delight! Enjoy!