by David Schuster
Movie sequels are rarely as good as the originals. There have been some isolated examples where the follow ups have been as good such as the Godfather trilogy but those are few and far between. "Wall Street 2 (Money Never Sleeps)" was no where as good as the original. Of course it didn't help that twenty-three years passed between the two flicks but I guess that's how long it took Oliver Stone to come up with a new script.
The movie starts out with a good premise with Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) being released from prison after serving eight years for fraud and illegal insider trading. The scene with Douglas retrieving his stuff is (pun intended) priceless. There's a gold money clip with no cash and then there's a cell phone that looks like the old Army walkie talkies. It took me back to when I first started working in broadcasting and had to get guests for on air. I had that same cell phone and it used to spook the athletes who thought they would be getting radiation burn because of the size of the device.
Gekko eventually writes a book and starts making speeches but you know he is destined to return to his old ways. While this is all going on a second sub plot is brewing with Gekko's daughter (Carey Mulligan) and her boyfriend (Shia Lebeouf) getting close to being married. Lebeouf is a young hot shot on Wall Street and Mulligan is a free lance web site writer. She hates her father but Lebeouf is enamored with him and elicits his help in trying to get revenge on a big shot who caused the death of his mentor.
The movie is both predictable in plot and complicated in all the business jargon that will be over most people's heads. Gekko in the original was ruthless through and through, but in this sequel he has too many soft spots that go against his character. There are some real good supporting roles played by Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon but once again this is a movie that runs about twenty minutes too long.
I always wanted to see the follow up to Wall Street and really looked forward to this movie, but I have to confess that I was disappointed (somewhat) in that it just didn't live up to the original. Just a run scoring double - two stars for Wall Street 2 (Money Never Sleeps).