Synyster Graves

Wall Street : Money Never Sleeps

by on Feb.23, 2011, under Further Down The Rabit Hole

This movie was truly awful in almost every meaning of the word. I’m a fan of Shia LaBeouf and also Michael Douglas, both of whom have been in many great movies. I have no idea, however, why either of them agreed to star in this movie after reading the script. The fact that it starred these two, and that the trailer made the film look pretty good too, I thought I’d give it a try. Now although I’m a massive action fan, I’m not some thug who would hate a film purely because there is no ‘action’ element. ‘Boiler Room’ is an excellent example of how to get a trading movie right and if I was reviewing that film, I’d give it close to a perfect score. Sadly, I didn’t sit through ‘Boiler Room’, I suffered ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’.

I’ve not watched the first movie of similar name, ‘Wall Street’ (1987), so I can’t comment on its similarities or differences, but what I can say is that there’s no way ‘Wall Street’ (1987) could be any worse than this reincarnation. In fact most reviews of the original ‘Wall Street’ seem to point to it being a very good film. However, I’m digressing again. In ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ we follow Jake Moore (Shia LeBeouf) a young trader engaged to Winnie Gekko (Carey Mulligan), who is the daughter of disgraced trader and legend Gordon Gekko (Michal Douglas). Winnie has disowned her father many years ago but after he is released from prison, he seeks to get back in contact with her.

Gordon plays mind games with Jake to get close to his daughter, looping a reasonably complicated plot connecting the main players in the collapsing trading world and making Jake the pawn to pull them all together. I think it’s making references to the recent financial crisis but really not very well. Despite the games, there’s no real tension and there’s no real suspense. Exactly what you think is going to happen happens. Eventually Jake gets Winnie to agree to take her trust fund and to invest it in an emerging green energy business he’s trying to help fund. To do this however, and release the funds, they need Gordon’s help. Oh where is this going? I hear you ask. And yes, three minutes later you find the “twist” that you saw coming about 5 minutes before you started watching the movie happens.

Gordon runs off with all the money and sets up a new trading business in London. Where I’m assuming he’s not banned from trading. All through the movie there are bits like this where the movie will try and sell you a twist, but you’ll have already seen it coming for the last 30 minutes so it’s not really a surprise.

The graphics were awful as well. It seems whoever edited this movie had just received a copy of Microsoft Office’s “Splicing Movies for Retards” software. There are all these awful sections of the film where a bar chart would form a set of buildings, or a falling line graph would trace over the top of a skyscraper skyline. I suppose this could have been done well, but in reality this movie made the effect look really tacky and amateur. Worst yet, they wouldn’t stop doing it. On almost every scene change there were graphs running through the skyline. It was like Homer Simpson making a home movie and using the ‘face to square’ effect on every… single… scene… change…

Although I’ve mentioned I usually like movies (with a few notable exceptions) starring Shia LeBeouf or Michael Douglas, I didn’t rate the acting skill in this movie at all. The script was so bad I think that old classic of ‘you can’t polish a turd’ is rather apt. The characters were so unbelievable and erratic, especially with Gordon’s daughter, Winnie. You just couldn’t make that leap of faith that she would make those same mistakes over and over again, especially after the first 20 minutes of the movie where she explains to her fiancée, Jake, the her father is poison, he’ll rip them off and leave them with nothing, financially and emotionally. Funnily enough that’s exactly what happens.

I give this film a very poor 0 out of 10. Not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s as close that makes no difference.

0 Stars

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