Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko is back, and if the movie trailers for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps are any indication, he’s as intoxicatingly delicious as he was back in the 80s. The film, directed by Oliver Stone, also features Shia LaBeouf, who is romancing Gekko’s daughter played by Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin and Susan Sarandon. And Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox makes an appearance. But is it worth spending your date night on Wall Street? Here’s what the critics are saying:
Boston Herald: Michael Douglas is in top form as a reprises the slippery Gordon Gekko…Douglas steals every scene he’s in. Released from prison early in the film — no one’s there to greet him; the waiting limo is for a gangbanger — Gekko haunts the edges of the movie and slowly, smilingly burrows inward until, once again, it’s all about him. To bide his time, he writes a tell-all book and gives seminars that ask “Is Greed Good?,” as if he ever doubted the answer. 2-1/2 out of 4 stars.
Los Angeles Times: Michael Douglas, Josh Brolin and Eli Wallach are wickedly good. It’s too bad so much time is spent on Shia LaBeouf …The best parts of this unfocused, erratic, downright messy sequel are the moments when the bad people take center stage. Director Stone has said that La Beouf reminds him of a young Tom Cruise, but it is unlikely anyone else will see the resemblance. Though the film is at pains to paint his character as one tough hombre, complete with motorcycle-riding chops, Jake comes off more like a striving pipsqueak than a presence to be respected. 3 out of 5 stars.
Seattle Post Intelligencer: Money Never Sleeps strength lies in its actors (and actresses). Brolin delivers the film’s best performance as the movies greedy villain. We have to start talking about Josh Brolin as one of the great actors in the past 5 years. He’s been in the following movies from 2010-2007: Milk, W, American Gangster, No Country For Old Men, and In The Valley of Elah. I’m going to pretend Jonah Hex never happened. LaBeouf, Douglas, Langella give strong performances as well. Carey Mulligan is good too. The only issue I have is she looks like she’s either got done crying or is on the verge of tears. The acting is excellent. Even the predictable scenes/plot lines are effective because the actors are strong. B-.
Wall Street Journal: Douglas is splendidly slimy…Mr. Douglas’s performance in the sequel measures up to Gekko’s rep, but the rest of the movie is pumped up to the bursting point with gasbag caricatures, overblown sermons and a semicoherent swirl of events surrounding the economy’s recent meltdown. The story certainly holds your attention, but it’s a dramatic bubble about a financial bubble.
New York Magazine: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps might be the movie-TV crossover point, wherein the sequel to an influential eighties motion picture is so loaded with characters and crosscurrents that we wonder why it isn’t a thirteen-hour cable mini-series instead of an impacted two-hour mess. The film is like my portfolio: full of promise, with minuscule returns
Philadelphia Inquirer: Mostly, I just sat back and enjoyed the actors. No one is better than Douglas at slipping into the skin of a human snake. As Douglas slithers, LaBeouf zags, unexpectedly good at playing the youth caught between social idealism and corporate pragmatism.
I love Michael Douglas, so I’m likely to see it at some point. Not a Shia LaBeouf fan, however, and I wonder what Hollywood sees in him. Tell us what you think if you see it!