Money Never Sleeps's wheels turn mainly on a bit of self-referential nudge-winking and a lot of melodrama. Like its predecessor it gets bogged down in financial speak and corporate wheeler-dealing that loads up the plot, yet Douglas is on fine form reprising his career-defining role. You're never quite sure if he can be trusted, and Stone has fun playing with the cult of Gekko by setting him up as a minor celebrity who seems to have seen the light. For this Gekko - and as the movie preaches - greed is a disease. Anchoring the story is Shia LaBeouf, an able stand in for Charlie Sheen (who appears in a small but effective cameo as a made-good Bud Fox), while senior pros Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon offer good support.
There's plot U-turns and boardroom double crosses aplenty here, but the sequel works best in its character interplay and the mentor/protégé relationships that emerge between LaBeouf, Douglas and Brolin. It's often overly forceful with its sentiments and idealism, and the David Byrne/Brian Eno soundtrack lands awkwardly to hammer home emotional punches, but this is an enjoyable 'tribute act' version of the original and a relevant mainstream drama that sits comfortably at Cannes.
Leave your comments on this entry below!