Movie Review: “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”

This is a continuation of the Wall Street filmed in 1987 starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Shean. This time Gordon Gekko came out of jail after serving 8 years in prison. His freedom happened to coincide with the subprime mortgage financial crisis of the 2008. Is he going to be a re-educated good guy and good father to his daughter and future son-in-law? Not quite.

Jake is this savvy stock analyst on the alternative energy sector, advising clients of the potential of laser fusion energy generator. First he got a $1.4M bonus check from his investment banker, Zabel, just days before his company went bankrupt by the subprime mortgage disaster. This story plot appears to be similar to the fate of Shearson Lehman Brother. The founder, Zabel, committed suicide in the subway station.

As it turned out Jake happened to be dating Gordon Gekko’s daughter, who refused to reconcile with her dad because of the damage he’s done to the family, especially his brother’s death. Through the financial crisis, Jake lost his job at Zabel and went to work for Bretton, the arch-enemy of Zabel. After he got doubled crossed by Bretton. He decided to leverage the $100M trust fund that Gordon left/hid-away at Swiss to his daughter. Gordon double crossed him and used to money to build up a $1.1B fund. And of course, the bad guy, Bretton, met his disgraced fate at his company. All was well when Gordon showed up with the $100M to make good on his original promise and they lived happily ever after with the upcoming grandson.

The story line and details of the financial crisis matched pretty well with the 2008 subprime mortgage disaster that I’m aware of, especially on how the Fed (Ben Benanke) and Treasurer (Paul Samuelson) orchestrated the demise of the Lehman Brothers but rescued the rest of the investment bankers. So the plot was realistic enough. But this Jake character wasn’t very strong and didn’t come across as the big shot Wall Street analyst. The rest of the characters weren’t very strong nor believable. But the movie captured the greed and state of the 2008 crisis. So it’s a good enough movie to watch.