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3.3 out of 5 stars91
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 15 October 2015
It pains me to say this, it really does, but this is dreadful; shocking at times, and not in a good way. Overall, it's mostly just painfully dull and stagnant; you'll be bored stiff (unless there's something seriously seriously wrong with you...). Though the ridiculous last 20/30 mins has to hold its hand up as being the final nail to the coffin; absolutely ridiculous. A highly uninteresting snore of a story, which doesn't seem to make sense most of the times, rushes by with no real purpose or meaning, or character/plot development - there is no point to this film (other than for it being a sequel to a classic intended to, ironically, make lots of money and out of people's expense). And to add insult-to-injury, and it must be pointed, is the dreadful (dreadful!) use of editing/graphics that you'd normally only find accustomed to kids TV shows - including, in particular, a sequence where LaBeouf is sitting in a car and has a thought of previous goings-on, in which a little bubble suddenly pops up to the side of his head, showing us what he is thinking. Er..., what?? In fact, the way the whole film is shot is as if a cheap American cop drama - there's no richness to the picture; no artistic imprint or style. Completely void, which is in direct contrast to the brilliance of the original. Some of the selected music in the film, also, is pathetic, adding nothing whatsoever (it actually seems more suited to an episode of Sex & the City), and the characters, themselves, are just plain uninteresting and unrealistic (to not give it away, but the Carey Mulligan character has an inheritance to an exceedingly high amount of money, ridiculously high, in a Swiss bank-account, which she duly chooses to ignore - yeah, right... I guess that's being 'edgy'). Josh Brolin is the only actor with any real prominence, but the script is so lacking that his role just disappears as the film goes on, and his eventual demise has no validating grounds. Oliver Stone, once a great director, and an auteur in his own right, has fallen big time here; he really has; much like the once great Ridley Scott, both now just empty dinosaurs, living on their previous names/talent (hence why they keep being funded by investors to make rubbish, their 'fame', instead of doing the right thing and just stepping aside to promote younger/more hungrier talent). In fact, judging on this evidence, Stone couldn't direct s*** out of a sheep's arse. He really couldn't. Which is a sad note, and I mean that, if you consider this is a guy who once gave the world of cinema 'Platoon' and wrote the screenplay to 'Scarface'. Just do yourself a favour and avoid this. Stick with the 'Greed is Good' motif, not something you'd openly find me promoting too ready.
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on 24 September 2013
I will say the acting was good and the film moved along. The opening scene of Gordon Gekko (Michael Milken type) getting out of prison and getting his belongings made me long to watch the "Blues Brothers." The soundtrack sounds like a bad Beatles cover bad. They really didn't think hard there. Once out, Gordon writes a book about the coming collapse on Wall Street. The crash of 2008 provides a background of corruption, greed, stock manipulation, etc. for a drama that centers around Gordon, his estranged daughter and her Wall Street boyfriend. If you are looking for a good film which exposes the collapse, this isn't it. If you are looking for a movie which is true and the names of the characters have been changed, this isn't it. If you are looking for a heart warming drama with a happy ending, you've come close, but a lot of the background jargon interferes that warm and fuzzy feeling you are supposed to develop for the characters. Cary Mulligan as Winnie was perhaps the person we could identify with the most, although her character's disdain for her father was a bit unbelievable. This appears to be a half-hearted effort by Oliver Stone.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 December 2013
This film arrives with impressive credentials, how could it possibly live up to its predecessor. Contrary to expectations Oliver Stone, an unsubtle and bombastic director, has produced a fairly disposable lifestyle movie with a comfortable moral at its heart.

Although like its predecessor it has a Byrne/Eno soundtrack, it is not the harsh mechanical tracks from My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, but later far more mellow fare.

Throughout it is shot like an advert for the lifestyles of rich bankers. The film does not so much hit the odd wrong note within a symphony, as attempt to play Beethoven on a stylophone. The banking jargon is all complete cobblers, the characters are either stereotypes or unconvincing, and the best thing here is Michael Douglas tired but still retaining a dangerous twinkle in his eye.

If you can discard any expectations of a hard edged and insightful critique of the 2007/8 crash, then this is impressive eye candy, constantly engaging, and it rightly puts Douglas at its centre, as a reformed and contrite Gordon Gekko, or is he?
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Hmm. Not bad. But it lacks the impact of Wall Street 1.

Here Gekko, newly released from jail, has been tamed somewhat. The picture on his apartment wall featuring the Dutch tulipmania craze shows he still has one eye on the madness of the market. There is still some fight left in him.

The action in the movie takes place in the setting of the 2007-08 subprime crisis.

I found the romance thing a bit contrived. These two were an unnatural pairing.

As a rule I like Oliver Stone's movies, but felt he was cashing in on the film's predecessor to some extent. However, Wall Street 2 is a good film. But Gekko is the real star here - as indeed he was in Wall Street 1.
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on 12 September 2012
The long overdue sequel. I was really anxious for this movie to come out, as the original was legendary. (which also was released during a wall street crash). As expected, Michael Douglas cooly plays a seasoned (post-prison) Gordon in masterful fashion. Regrettably, Charlie Sheen chose not to give life to Budd Foxx, which could have given the movie endless plot twists. He appears briefly in a cameo with a couple of babes, as seems appropriate.

The plot is based on the 2008 derivatives crash, and follows the facts fairly accurately. Gekko emerges poor from prison, and deftly turns a hidden $100 million from a secret swiss account into a $Billion. Naturally, he does it by deftly calling the bottom perfect during the freefall.

The big letdown is the Sharief actor. He is badly miscast. Hollywood needs to keep in in skateboard movies, not this type of role. Other than that it was a decent sequel worth watching.
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UK fans of Oliver Stone's 5-star "Wall Street" and its 3-star sequel should note the following if they're buying on BLU RAY.

“Wall Street” and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" on 'US' 20th Century Fox BLU RAYS are both REGION A LOCKED - so they won't play on our machines unless they're chipped to be 'all regions' (which few are).

The obvious option is to go for the 'UK' BLU RAY bundle of both films.

But if you're up for more – the original 1987 "Wall Street" film has also been re-issued Stateside in 2012 by Oliver Stone as a 'Filmmakers Signature Series' edition - and this 20th Century Fox BLU RAY is REGION FREE. It offers the amazing "Greed Is Good" behind-the-scenes extra that runs for nearly a whole hour.

Confusing I know - but that's Region Coding for you...
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This was bought in the local supermarket for a couple of quid and a night in accompanied by a bottle of red and a horse meat lasagne, The film was largely panned by critics and this reviewer expectations were low. In fact it's neither brilliant or truly terrible, but it misses its target by a mile and in here somewhere is a much better and bigger story screaming to get out. Michael Douglas's return as Gordon Gekko is solid enough although a sneaky moral compass has crept in. In this film he superficially rehabilitated and now established as a kind of "Black Swan" author predicting that derivatives are about to sink the financial markets. He is however subsumed in the plot by the story of the relationship between his daughter (Carey Mulligan) and ambitious young investment banker Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf) who travels that inevitable and rather clichéd journey of the fervent disciple turned disillusioned renegade. If you don't make this less than subtle connection Charlie Sheen is thrown into the film as Bud Fox to remind you of the pedigree. Indeed Oliver Stone's direction somehow succeeds in reducing the really big story namely the outrageous scale and catastrophic failure of the banks into intrusive sub plot which essentially becomes fodder for a story on Mulligans "leftist" blog. All the while we are forced to endure a rather silly romance between LaBeouf and Mulligan, a sort of activist versus the capitalist tale of a pairing so ill fitted that they make Jordan and Peter Andre look like the perfect couple. Equally poor old Susan Sarandon as Jake's wheeling and dealing (but losing) mother seems so lost here that a search party should have been called.

Oliver Stone's direction in Wall Street 2 has essentially missed the boat and his tired use of visual cliches like dominos falling are obvious to the point of irritation. The film never comes close to capturing the real life drama contained in documentaries like "The Fall of Lehman Bothers" or the equally brilliant "faction" account of key figures such as Hank Paulson, Dick Fuld, John Mack and Ben Bernanke in HBOs brilliant "Too big to fail". "Wall Street" is a watchable but ultimately disappointing sequel which sees one of the greatest immoral characters in film history limp into retirement and ignores the famous maxim "never waste a good crisis"
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on 6 February 2015
Fine movie explaining – albeit in simple terms - the present global economic meltdown. What it lacks in emotional involvement between the characters, and the audience, it makes up for in satire about Western (White) capitalist greed.

Also an attack on fueling an economy on the basis of credit, rather than the production of services or goods which merely serves to create a series of credit bubbles that eventually (& inevitably) lead to burstings.

Like this director’s earlier W., Oliver STONE has made this film during the time of the situation being critiqued. Therefore, it has no real ending; merely suggesting a way out of the economic mess by a process of wishful-thinking - down-sizing anyone?
Not quite as good as the first Wall Street, but good enough in presenting a quintessential villain as an expository mouthpiece for the many failings of Western capitalism.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 6 August 2014
Wall Street remains a firm favourite of mine with the edgy plot, excellent cast and back to a time when Oliver Stone could dish out the on screen goodies as good as anyone sitting in the director's chair. In short Oliver Stone = Interesting well made movies with real edge.

I had mixed feelings about watching this film, partly because Stone's more recent films paled compared to previous productions and secondly the cast, Douglas aside I wasn't convinced Shia LaBeouf (fine for Transformers) was up to the job of this kind of role, and on both counts the film comes up short but the problems go beyond Stone and a single actor. The other problem is the original Wall Street, being such an iconic film for many just didn't really need a sequel hence the term "why bother" springs to mind.

Anyway onto the plot, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is released from prison after serving him time for insider trading (at this point we still have the bones of what could be a decent sequel) However Gekko is not the ruthless trample on everyone financial war monger he used to be, he's now a reformed man. Gekko sets about trying to "put right" his relationship with his distant and unforgiving daughter Winnie Gekko (Carey Mulligan) who is less than happy about the Gekko legacy of corruption and greed as well as the suicide of her brother which she blames Gekko for
She happens to be dating a young up and coming trader Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf) who soon ends up helping Gekko try to rebuild his father/daughter relationship and in return Gordon will help Jacob get revenge on the man who pushed his MD (Louis Zabel ) played by Frank Langella to suicide. The predictable bad egg character in this case is Josh Brolin as Bretton James head of the investment bank which put Louis in a tight spot.

Firstly a few problems start to arise, the film is trying to do too much at the same time. We have Gekko trying to make amends for his past deeds and iffy role as a father. The second if a fairly predictable financial revenge plot which fails to excite. Josh Brolin isn't bad (think of him as the more up to date Gekko type) but evidently Javier Bardem was due to play the role but backed out. After Bardem's outstanding bad guy role in "Skyfall" it might have added some edge to the character. Still either way the screen play and script lack sparkle and hit merely competent at best.

The other "crime" is with recent events (the huge financial crisis that hit all over the world), mixed with one of the most iconic "bad boy" business characters aka Gekko, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it would be a white knuckle ride that would have your palms sweating on the crushed cheque book and visa card. Sadly neither is the case as Stone plods along with his "passable/watchable" film that just fails to land the punches it could have.
It's not a good film, it's not truly awful either it shifts a few hours of time and is nothing more or less than acceptable. I can't blame single cast members, though I feel LaBeouf just isn't right for this role. Few cast members stand out, though I can see Douglas is trying, it would be no understatement to say that "Gekko" is and remains his defining role he played so brilliantly in the original film. However you can only work with what you are given, and the script/story just don't shine, the directing is laid back and has no real edge.

I feel sorry for Douglas in a way, this could have been a strong film despite the loyal fan base who feel no sequel is needed. Stone has sadly spent too much time on the "personal side" and taken no risks. And the reformed good guy Gekko just doesn't work. What could have hit the spot is the eager and hungry "older Gekko" could have been released from prison and gone back to his old ways, the powerhouse of financial fear, the take no prisoners tread on everyone Gekko we all know and love to hate. With the financial meltdown real world events you could easily have made a story with a few "shirts getting lost" big time.

There are other potential story lines, but all of this is merely academic. As one film friend said to me "you don't make a sequel to Wall Street without busting a gut to make a damn good movie, or trying as hard as you can" Stone neither tries nor really ever gets into the skin of the film. We even get the obligatory Charlie Sheen (Bud Fox) very small cameo role which does nothing at all to add to the film.
What a shame, at best it passes some time it's watchable, but watch this back to back with the first Wall Street and you'd be forgiven for thinking the two films were made by entirely different people. Could have been a corker, ended up tainting the bottle a bit.
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VINE VOICEon 12 November 2010
When Oliver Stone made Wall Street back in the 1980s, he intended it to be a salutary tale of how the financial markets could be a force for good which were in danger of being hijacked by selfishness and greed. Twenty years on, narked that nobody took any notice of him the first time around, he's made a sequel which puts forward the same message just in rather more strident terms. It's just a shame that he doesn't hit the target with quite the same accuracy as he did the first time around, but with age has come a certain degree of self-indulgence.

The weakness is that it is in fact two films shoehorned together in a slightly unhappy marriage, and the joins show at times. On the one hand we have what is a pretty good dramatisation of the financial crash of 2008, which includes a quick précis of why and how it happened and why and how the bailouts were put together. I found this genuinely interesting if a bit light on detail and with nothing like enough fingers being pointed at responsible parties, but I realise that a financial docudrama wouldn't play to packed houses and so we get the punters through the door by bringing back Gordon Gekko who remains as iconic, and as self-interested, ruthless, manipulative and oily as ever. Michael Douglas as Gekko is the best thing in the film, but he brings with it its greatest weakness - a relationship between his daughter (Cary Mulligan) and his protégé (Shia leBeouf).

Mulligan and leBoeuf have one of those Hollywood relationships where you can see absolutely no reason why these two people are together beyond the fact that the script says they should be and where saying "I love you" justifies any sort of behaviour required to move the plot along. On the one hand, leBeouf plays a hotshot young market analyst and trader who deals with his heart rather than his head and gets emotionally involved with his client companies. Despite this he still makes pots of money for his employers, and I spent the first half of the film wondering if this were a satire on the fact that in the great boom years of 2006-8 even a monkey with a pin could make profits. However, even after the crash he continues to make money hand over fist from the same investment techniques, and I came to the conclusion that this was the same magic money you get from crossing your fingers and wishing very hard which Labour supporters think we can use to pay off the deficit and raise public spending at the same time. On the other hand, Cary Mulligan plays a crusading young journalist who is anti-capitalist and supports a fairer world in the way that only someone who owns a flashy loft apartment and works in an office where everyone sits in Herman Miller Aeron chairs can. Why these two are together is never explained beyond the plot needing a way to get Gekko back into the financial world, and a Mephistophelean deal between him and leBeouf allows for this to happen.

I know some people don't like leBeouf, but I think he's a particularly good actor as is Cary Mulligan and they make the best of a shonky script here but their relationship just isn't convincing. It's just there to advance the plot - she forgets to mention to him her $100m inheritance, he lies and emotionally blackmails it out of her and then (because he's a hotshot city banker, don't forget) he gives it to convicted fraudster Gordon Gekko no questions asked. And all the while the two sit there blubbing and saying how much they love each other. I just wanted to clock both of them on the nose.

It's a shame that the central plot is to weak, because the background stuff is often so good. We get an entertaining turn from an ancient Eli Wallach (the ugly from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly) playing a financier who is effectively Tuco in a suit. I half expected The Ecstacy of Gold to start playing whenever he turned up. We get Josh Brolin playing a sociopathic master of the universe banker. And, as mentioned, we get Michael Douglas chewing the scenery with gusto (especially in a delightful sequence towards the end in which he opens a hedge fund in London). To my dismay the film ends with a coda in which he gets something of a heart and donates a vast sum of money to a pointless green initiative to win the love of his daughter, but on a second reading it could be interpreted as him paying less than 8% of his net worth to buy access to his grandchild so I let it pass.
Overall? A 3-stars (out of five) film. A fairly good overview of the financial crash which fails to point fingers at some responsible people* which is uncomfortably wedded to a love story knocked out on the Hollywood Love-Scriptotron 3000. And Gordon Gekko who is, lets face it, the reason you'd go and see this film anyway. He's worth it, too.

*Such as Clinton repealing the Glass-Steagall act. But Oliver Stone is mates with Clinton, so no surprises there.
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