Up to a few days ago, I always wanted to watch Wall Street complete, because every time I saw it had already started. So I decided to go on to the video store and rent it. The result was that I enjoyed this film even more. Oliver Stone, fresh of his Platoon success in 1986 brought up another great film that studies other concepts of humanity and greed. After all this time since 1987, the movie still keeps itself fresh and it's really a good movie to watch from time to time.Young Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) is an ambitious stockbroker who works on his firm in the day and gets the rest of the day trying to get the necessary materials to impress his idol, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas in his career performance)- a rich, successful but ruthless broker- to get to the top. His friend at the firm Marv (John C. McGingley) even encourages him to do so, or look for other fat elephants. That's the reason why Bud always calls Gekko everyday. Later in a restaurant we meet Bud's father Carl (Martin Sheen), who works at Bluestar Airlines, and is worried about his son's future, since in his point of view the life he's living doesn't show any progress. While talking to Bud, Carl mentions something about the airline that can bring it around, but only as a comment, though nothing's written on paper. Gekko's birthday arrives and Bud goes into his office daringly to offer him his services but Gekko throws his offers out, except one, through pressure he gives out the Bluestar info his father talked him about. And with that, his high life takes off. Gekko takes him under his wing and teaches him all about greed, and how to get the information for succeeding in the stock market world. So, he becomes one of Gekko's allies, and does everything he tells him because he wants to get to the top, but at the same time he "sells his soul" to Gekko, since the information he gathers for him is inside information, like the one Carl "gave" to him. Bud knows that trading on inside information is illegal, but Bud follows Gekko's advice since information is the very commodity that helps you bet on sure things. And to get it once included stalking Gekko's rival Larry Wildman (Terence Stamp), bribing his college friend Roger (James Spader), whose firm he works on contains many key aspects of many companies and how they run, In simpler terms all comes to fast money and fast women, like the one that Bud gets to fall for, Darien (Daryl Hannah). But Bud doesn't realize until the end that the fast life he's living puts him at odds of what his father taught him all along, and also on what its right and wrong, and that may cost him everything.
"One of the best stockmarket films"
The films tackle on greed and morality are the keys to the film since it analyses the manipulations that Gekko gives to Bud so he can get the information that he wants, it pushes him and it succeeds because for a long time he's wanted to be with the big brokers, the ones that can do marvels and have all the money in the world. And Gekko gives him that chance, though its headed the wrong path, but since Buds ambitions are getting to the top, he does it, although its wrong, he decides to do it anyways because of his ambitions. The movie also reflects on youth, you see in the movie in Bud's firm, most of the brokers are people his age in their twenties that are handling stocks, they have all the keys to make the stock either go down or up, and its shocking since it gives you an inside look that the younger people are the ones that are more vulnerable to be seduced by the easy buck, and do everything to get it. It seems that Wall street is just a wrestling fight that you just want to beat your competitor and everybody else and win, no matter how you do it, but win, fuck the rules of the game. All of this along with the "everybody's doing it so why can't I" and the "Greed is good" slogans, why should we care about rules, about ethics and everything else that we as humans know as moral? It's all for the money isn't it? But it's not till later when you realize that "money makes you do things you don't want to do."
The film's script succeeds in explaining you everything that you need to know about the stock market game, despite that the area we are talking about is as complicated as every other profession is. But it explains to you part by part on why things are run that way so smoothly, that you're never caught off guard, and you always know what's going on. The performances from all the actors were great, despite Daryl Hannah, and very convincing too, but for most of the time Michael Douglas steals the show. His performance is so convincing that it even stuns you since his portrayal of Gordon Gekko is almost realistic, he deserved that Oscar. By the way its so realistic that Douglas recalls meeting many people claiming that his performance in the film encouraged them to be stockbrokers, "Yeah man, you're the guy who plays Gordon Gekko, greed is good, man you're awesome," despite the fact that Douglas plays the bad guy. Well, some bad guys aren't that bad, I suppose.In the end, I recommend this movie to anyone, even if you're not an aspiring stockbroker, because it's a great film worth seeing, not only for the message it delivers, but also for the smoothness of it that makes it entertaining. It's really worth the money and time, really.
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originally posted: 04/17/01 21:26:18