Number of Times Seen – Twice (1 Jan 2011 and 26 Aug 2019)
Brief Synopsis – Following his release from prison, Gordon Gekko tries to rebuild his empire with the help of a talented young stockbroker dating his estranged daughter.
My Take on it – This is a film that tries much too hard to bank on its predecessor that it fails to make its story feel more unique and intriguing.
The main character of Gordon Gekko returns but isn’t as effective a character here as he was in the original since he feels much too restrained in all that he says and does.
Michael Douglas does a fine job of stepping back into the shoes of this character yet they allow the character too much leeway when it comes to emotions and business.
In the original film, the character doesn’t get emotional about any of his work, and that is one of the reasons he is such a great character, but in this film, he has been ‘rehabilitated and now isn’t as ruthless and conniving as he was then and seems to have grown a heart thru most of this film’s story which makes him seem too distant from his previous appearance.
Yes, there are some twists along the way, but they seem a bit to tame in the way they are presented.
Shia LeBeouf fails to play the young and ambitious stockbroker type very well and he isn’t as charismatic as Charlie Sheen was in the same kind of role.
Even the Sheen cameo doesn’t help things at all
His character isn’t sympathetic at all and it’s quite hard to care much about him.
The movie is able to depict the financial bailout of 2008 pretty well but unfortunately it doesn’t spend enough time going in to the intricacies of it all and making sure that the viewer is aware of it all.
This is a film with lots of lost potential and the obvious comparison to the much more enjoyable and entertaining original hurts it so much more than it is able to help it along.
Bottom Line – Interesting idea for a sequel, yet it fails to be as effective as the original was. Douglas plays his character well yet again but they allow the story to become too personal and that hurts any impact that it could have because that is in sharp contrast of what they succeeded in doing in the previous film. LaBeouf isn’t as charismatic as Sheen was in the apprentice role and the film suffers because we can’t care at all about his character. The movie depicts the financial bailout of 2008 quite well but doesn’t spend enough time explaining much of the intricacies of the event. Lots of lost potential here and the easy comparison to the superior original hurts this film more than helps it.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When the film was released, Shia LaBeouf told a story about a disagreement he had with Oliver Stone over a line. He told the press: “We’re in the Adirondacks, and Josh Brolin and I are shooting this bike scene. And at one point I say to Josh a line – ‘You should look at yourself in the mirror first and see yourself. It might scare you. I looked at the line for a couple of months and thought I’d go to Oliver and say, ‘You look at the mirror and look at yourself. It’s sort of repetitive. Why don’t we just cut one of those? Why don’t I say, Look at yourself. It might scare you.’ Stone looked at him and calmly replied ‘I like mirror. I wrote Scarface (1983). Go f*ck yourself.'”(From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)
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