It’s true you know, in the world of finance, money never sleeps, or at least there are digital numbers representing monetary values across screens somewhere in the world at any given time. And even when the market is closed for holidays, all of the hardcore financial people of the world (who care more than anyone about money money money), are prepping themselves for when the market does again open. The flow of information in this day and age is vital to today’s digital trading, and can make or break markets, or at least specific investments, in a flash. This film may not be the best representation of any of this, but it did spark my interest, and eventually captured it.
Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is released from prison after his greedy ways landed him there. Knowing the type of challenge it would be, Gekko wants to mend his relationship with his daughter, Winnie (Carey Mulligan) who has a boyfriend, Jacob Moore (Shia Labeouf) who is a top trader at Keller Zabel Investments. Having a close relationship with Louis Zabel (Frank Langella), the firms managing director, he is torn up when Louis steps in front of a train when the company finds itself in bad shape. Louis had tried asking for a bailout but a man named Brett James wouldn’t have it (Louis had refused to bail Brett out years earlier). Finding out that James even profited from the Keller Zabel collapse, Moore is determined to make him hurt and starts by using the power of market influence (rumors) to punish James’s company’s value in the market. Moore and Winnie also find themselves betrayed by Gekko later in film when he returns to his old ways. Moore must use what he knows about Gekko to do what he can to save the father daughter relationship and get back what Gekko steals from them.
Evaluation: I can’t beat around the bush, I love the film. I am a business/finance major, and I love movies like this that portray the harsh reality of business. This career path is where that old saying “Nothing personal, it’s just business” applies quite well. However the movie focuses on the personal aspects that influence decisions throughout the movie, which does indeed make for a better story. And what can I say about the cast other than what a fantastic flippin job they did. Langella, Douglas, and Lebeouf all in one movie? DAMN, can it get any better? I highly respect these three actors and enjoy almost all of their films.
It’s hard to pinpoint a detail about the film that I most favor, but I think I would have to go with Jacob Moore’s enthusiasm for what he does. For him, it’s more than just making money, it’s about changing the world. He is very invested in the fusion research project that he has backed for some time, and even goes so far as to invest his own (or Winnie’s) money into it. His passion helps make the movie what it is, and helps balance out the greed versus morality of the film.
Total Abstract Rating: 90% Sorry critics, to you it may be a pointless sequel, but to me it’s an excellent emotion driven, money based film.