Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” sequel, subtitled “Money Never Sleeps,” is a hit. It’s a formula Hollywood movie in the great sense. For the first time in a long time, the formula works.
There are many good things to say about “Money Never Sleeps.” The script sings and zings with excellent dialogue and memorable one liners. It’s a simple story of greed and morality, with a twist you can see from the beginning. But the players are winning, and Stone doesn’t get bogged down. He plays the 2008 financial crisis like an end of the world movie. It’s “Deep Impact” but the falling Dow Jones averages are meteors hurtling to Earth.
Michael Douglas returns as Gordon Gekko after 23 years. It’s a slow starter performance, deceptively sly. I kind of prefer him this year in “Solitary Man,” but don’t be mistaken: as he says in the film, Gordon Gekko is back.
Lots of great supporting performances: Shia LeBoeuf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, John Mailer, Susan Sarandon are all great. Eli Wallach is just perfect as the head a sinking Wall Street firm. He’s 93 and better than ever. Charlie Sheen has a welcome, winning cameo as Bud Fox. Sylvia Miles returns as the cranky real estate agent.
WS2 should be released now, not in the fall. It’s very timely. Maybe greed is good now, but so is this movie.
My Oscar prediction: Frank Langella will be nominated for Best Supporting Actor. He is outstanding, and carries the first half hour of the film brilliantly. He leaves an indelible impression.
More to come…