— by JASON EAKEN —
Does the world really need a sequel to “Wall Street”? Given the struggling economy and the tangled executive paths and mentalities that helped bring that economy about … maybe we do need this movie! This is a sequel that almost seems provoked into existence by the current economic climate at least as much as by the recent trend of Hollywood remakes, updates, and sequels. It’s a perfect storm.
I’m glad to hear Charlie Sheen is in the film, too, though I didn’t notice him in the trailer. But I understand why. Michael Douglas, as Gordon Gecko, is this story’s black heart, and the preview shows him leaving prison and implanting himself in the middle of his daughter’s (and her boyfriend’s) life.
This really is just a teaser, but the reveal of Douglas is pretty good, and I’m excited by all the star-power. Shia LaBeouf gets a chance to do some more mature, interesting acting and the film looks to be heavily focused on the interplay between LaBeouf and Douglas, which could be fantastic. Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon round out the cast, though they’re mostly seen in brief snippets in this trailer. The point of it (the trailer) is the return of Michael Douglas to the role that won him an Academy Award. He’s been mostly out of the limelight in the past decade, still making films, but not in top form since 2000’s “Traffic” and “Wonder Boys.”
Oliver Stone is a respected director. From the mid-1980s to the early ’90s, he was a towering auteur, a respected, awarded cinematic giant. But the past decade has been harsh (see “Alexander” or “World Trade Center” or even the better-than-average “W.”) His subjects are always intriguing, and this film is no different, but he seems to have lost his touch of late. Perhaps this will be the film for him to get it back. I’m glad he’s directing this sequel. It wouldn’t feel right in someone else’s hands. The real questions are, can Stone and Douglas reclaim the status they had back in 1987? Will the film be relentless and powerful? Or will it just be an excuse to have Douglas back on screen in his most iconic role? I hope the former.
The trailer seemed like it could go either way. If there are too many bits like the mobile phone one, it might feel cheap and corny. But if the film takes its cues from the mood set by its poster, then we may be in for an amazing film.
Follow Jason Eaken on Twitter at http://twitter.com/EAKEN.