Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps 2 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund
A funny – make that infuriating – thing happens during the course of “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” Oliver Stone's 23-years-later sequel that's as strained and cumbersome as its title. At first, it seems Stone is terribly guilty of what so many other franchise-helmers have been: putting far too much starry-eyed stock in his big, iconic character. When master-of-greed Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) gathers his tacky '80s effects while leaving a lengthy prison stint, and when he later appears on television to promote his new book, his name is enunciated with such holy emphasis you'd think Stone expected every finance guru on Earth to get tingly at the pulpy, alliterated sound of it. (Gekko is a legend, yes, but there's an icky feeling he's nowhere more a legend than in Stone's own mind.) Soon, however, matters take a turn for the even worse as it grows clearer and clearer that neither Stone nor screenwriters Stephen Schiff and Allan Loeb have any interest in retaining the nasty spirit of the slick-haired villain that landed Douglas an Oscar. The new Gekko is a de-fanged bore whose actions are both contrived and incongruous, and the whole movie follows in his wavering footsteps.