Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps

Audiences and critics are split over Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. Detractors complain that it was a missed opportunity, or too complicated and lacking direction. One reviewer lamented that the old Gordon Gekko would have torn up this movie, and that this film would have doesn’t capture the zeitgeist the way the original did, since the crisis feels like “yesterday’s news.” I can understand the notion, we consume information at an ever increasing breckneck speed, but I find it poignant since we are by no means out of the woods and the people that got us into this mess, are still riding high while the economy is still in bad shape. There needs to be a degree of accountability, and the name of Gekko’s book “Is Greed Good?” certainly hints at the fact that the once great corporate raider certainly questions his own assertion some 20 years previous. That’s also the reason that Gekko didn’t “eat through this film,” even as a writer on the lecture circuit he can’t exercise the same clout he used to, the loss of wealth is a huge blow to his ego, and he’s forced into the wise and reflective role of the antihero – but without losing his edge or desire to return to the top. The film has a lot of ground to cover, granted, but as a result it never slows down, and it lives up to the original in both excitement and coolness. It’s very well cast, Carey Mulligan plays Gekko’s estranged daughter and is reduced to being an emotional basket case for the entire film, making her character less sympathetic. Charlie Sheen makes a brief and comical appearance (good on him); LaBeouf does a good job at the center of the story and a lot of acting talent (see Brolin, Langella, Sarandon); but watching Michael Douglas is the highlight, and his transformation from the academic-looking lecturer back into a financial big wheel is simply bad ass. In my opinion, the film is very entertaining and a fitting follow-up to the original.

I’ll be honest, even as a student of business I had a few questions regarding the stock market (in the movie Gekko mentions the 72 different forms of debt and acronyms used to identify them), but even if you’re well versed in things like balance sheets and the time value of money you might have some basic questions. For one, I had always wondered how the prices for shares are determined and continuously updated on the stock market. On Bright Hub there are a few articles regarding the basics, for those of us who wonder about these kinds of things.

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