The second trailer for the Wall Street sequel has appeared, and just like last time, we get the lame gag about the bulky ’80s mobile phone. But we also get actual plot, and some hints that this movie will be more than just Basic Instinct 2 by way of The Economist.
I’m a little bit excited about Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. The title seems almost purposefully awful, it’s unclear if Shia LaBeouf is actually a good actor, and Oliver Stone hasn’t made a truly great movie in over 10 years (and that’s if you’re generously inclined to enjoy the decadent thrills of Any Given Sunday). But the cast is incredible, and we can all agree that America desperately requires a film that can explain the current disastrous economic situation with pithy one-liners and expletive-laced soliloquies.
From the trailer, the look of the film is perfect – lavish parties, private jets, big cigars, and all the other addictive pleasures of the beautiful life. But I’m getting the sense that Wall Street 2 could suffer from the Hannibal problem: an attention-getting supporting villainous role from the first film gets blown out of proportion into a semi-heroic role for the second film. (Then again, Hannibal wasn’t that bad.)
I recently rewatched the original Wall Street and was struck by how well it’s aged. The mix of verite realism, highbrow satire, and melodrama works better than you remember. On a deeper level, you get the sense from Wall Street that Stone genuinely understands the material: the traders, bankers, and corporate raiders feel real, in a way that the politicians in JFK, Nixon, and W never do, unless you believe that all politicians are masochistic Freudian tragic heroes who talk the way F. Scott Fitzgerald writes.
What do you think of the new trailer, PopWatchers? Do you think that Carey Mulligan will honor the tradition of the Oliver Stone Uni-Dimensional Female Character? Do you agree that money never sleeps, and if so, shouldn’t we give it some NyQuil?