The Finance Theme
Financial dealings, scandals and rivalries form the heart of this drama and this aspect of the film is well put together. For those interested in finance and economics, there is plenty to see and enjoy here. However, the film makers have also developed a set of engaging characters and corporate rivals to render the drama interesting to those who don't know (or care!) about the difference between a stock and a bond.
Gordon Gekko's Character
Gordon Gekko's character becomes a deeper and more interesting sight to behold in this film. We learn about his family, his struggles and his attempt to come back from prison. In the original Wall Street film, Gecko is something of a tycoon caricature.
New York City views
The photography of New York City is absolutely fantastic; the motorcycle ride through the city near the beginning of the film is one of my favorite depictions of the Big Apple in recent film. There are also many gorgeous shots of the Manhattan skyline to enjoyed throughout the film.
While I certainly enjoyed this film, it occasionally struck me as too simplistic in its assessment of the 2008 financial crisis. It is probably unfair to compare a feature film to the many books written about the crisis, but it is a defect nonetheless. There is also one particular scene where Gekko gives a lecture on investment and finance that is hard to believe given everything else we see about the character. Debt and credit can be helpful in many circumstances when managed properly, but this film would have you believe that all forms of debt are harmful.
Wall Street: Movie Never Sleeps, directed by Oliver Stone, is a 2010 drama that continues the story of Gordon Gekko, a character from Oliver Stone's 1987 film Wall Street. At the conclusion of the original film, Gekko is arrested for insider trading and other financial crimes. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps begins with Gekko walking out of prison in 2001, but the main story begins in 2008. Interestingly, the characters participate in a major financial crisis that strongly reminds me of the September 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers. The film also delivers a not so subtle message about the evils of finance, credit, debt, speculation and investment, a move that is sure to be popular with those who remain upset about the crisis caused by irresponsible bankers and investors.
As someone who has long been interested in the investment world, I found this film to be very enjoyable and engaging. At times, it can become a bit overbearing ("speculation is bad!") in trying to preach its message. That said, if you've been following the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis or you just want to see a great drama set in Manhattan, this film is well worth a look.