Image Credit: Barry WetcherIf you watch it now, you can giggle at the giant mobile phone and gawk at the primitive computer screens, with their flashing green numbers, but Oliver Stone’s Wall Street (1987) has lost none of its heady zing. It’s still a rush, a thriller for the brain, a classic Hollywood myth of an insatiable, cocky, anxious age. It’s also one of the most karmically well-timed movies ever made. Wall Street came out at the end of 1987, a couple of months after the stock-market crash, and though it had been shot beforehand, in essence — in spirit — it anticipated the crash. Stone knew, of course, that the culture of greed wasn’t good, that it was a roller-coaster coming off the track. Yet even as the movie gave us that warning, it also gave us the ride. It channeled the fever of the ’80s — it had the hunger for money in its ominously propulsive, digital-trade rhythms. What made Wall Street unique is that it was a before-the-crash movie and an after-the-crash movie at the same time.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Stone’s avidly awaited sequel, which had its world premiere showing this morning at the Cannes Film Festival, is very much an after-the-crash movie. Not that it lacks money fever. Like the original Wall Street, it’s a darkly exciting steel-and-glass vision of pirahnas in the water, of ruthlessly wealthy, nattily dressed men doing whatever it takes to make themselves wealthier. Stone, working from a screenplay by Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff, conjures that same breathless atmosphere of dramatic liquidity, of a plot that hurtles along at the speed of information. READ FULL STORY »