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This week:
Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps

Filthy says:
"Can't make money while you're sleeping, but you can easily pay $10.50."

Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps But Audiences Do is a little more preachy than a Southern Baptist, and a lot more hypocritical. It's fun to have an asshole like bombastic director Oliver Stone tell you about greed, just like it's fun to have your drunken father call the girl you took to homecoming a dirty rotten whore whose not good enough for you, right before he drives her home and--you later learn--get a handjob from in the parking lot of Captain Jack's Liquor Land.

Stone's throwing some pretty fucking big rocks from in front of his glass house. That's what old people do, though. They sit on the porch and bitch about the world passing them by, unable to do a God damn thing about it. Stone is a guy with questionable morals and unmatched avarice and lust for expensive shit. Maybe his preaching would be okay if he were throwing his nuts at some fresh target, or had something insightful to say. He doesn't, though. He's rehashing the financial collapse that started two years ago, trying to fictionalize it with his obvious characters. The only people who are going to see this movie and nod their heads in agreement are the people without any power and who got screwed the first time around. The rich fucks and the slimeballs aren't going to change a God damn thing they do because of it. Neither are the lawmakers. Given that the movie isn't entertaining, then, it has little reason to exist except to let a dirty old, drug-addled man vent about something gone by. "These damn kids and their... woaaahh, look at all the pretty colors."

Shitsy LaPoof, perhaps the whiniest and most over-appreciated actor of his generation, plays a young banker with goals of making more money than he can blow on quiet Russian hookers. He lives in a swank New York loft with Carey Mulligan. She does an admirable job of hiding her English accent, and a serviceable job of being as dull as a butter knife. I'm not talking about the butter knives you people get, either. I'm talking about the rubberized ones they gave me the weekend I had to spend in the institution after I drank bug spray and thought I was being anally probed by mopeds.

LaPoof loves Mulligan. The audience know that because he buys her leather-seated-Prius-driving, liberal-blogging ass a really, really expensive engagement ring right before going to an ritzy nightclub without her. She cares about the little people. She writes as much on her high-end laptop while looking out over Central Park from their highly-optioned, six-million-dollar loft. The thing is, her father is once-imprisoned Wall-Street megadouche Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglass as a smug hogshank doused in starch. She hates him for being so greedy and wealthy, I guess because he apply a gloss of compassion she has put on her opulent life. She refuses to have anything to do with him.

Now out of jail and looking like leather shoe left in the sun too long, Douglas wants back into her life. Not because he loves her, but because he left her a huge trust fund he now wants to get his hands on. Douglas' motive is supposed to be a surprise, but it's telegraphed clear as a bell from his first moments on screen, and then several more times just in case we missed it. There is no twist to the story when he absconds with the money, except to the movie's supposedly intelligent characters. They turn out to be much stupider and gullible than the audience. Douglas uses the young and greed-driven LaPoof to worm his way back to Mulligan.

Dumped on top of Wall Street 2's central plot is all sorts of other bullshit, as though director Stone invited a bunch of hack screenwriters over for a shitting party, just to see how high they could pile their stink. Primarily, Wall Street 2 plays against a backdrop of the financial collapse of 2008, when all of the stupid home loans banks gave to aspiring debtors came back to bite the bankers in the ass. Stone plays out this backdrop as though he discovered it. He didn't; anyone who listens to This American Life has heard a better and more interesting explanation of how our banks fucked us over. Anyone who reads a newspaper not written in crayon, or has access to the Internet, knows the story by now, if they want to. If they don't, they sure as fuck don't want to hear Oliver Stone preachifying it to them. He's not exactly a reliable narrator. As presented in Wall Street 2, it's dumbed down to a boring-as-fuck tale of "cartoonishly evil people doing selfish things in clubby rooms full of tufted leather and dark paneling."

The characters are as flat as a jigsaw puzzle, only they don't fit together as well. The writers and Stone have roughly jammed tabs and slots together without subtlety. Mulligan is supposed to be the sensitive one because she drives a hybrid and cries a bunch. I never got a sense she was a good person from her actions, though, or in any way interesting or in control of her own destiny. The movie tells us Shitsy LaPoof is a risk-taker, see, because he rides around on Italian motorcycles. He also likes to piss and moan a lot about bad people without really taking any believable action or much of a stand. Sure, every now and then the script forces him to do something, but it doesn't come from the character. More like it needed to happen to push the story forward to its awful ending. He represents the moral understanding of Hollywood, so compromised and muddled that it is no longer reasonable or sympathetic.

The awful ending is that Douglas, after taking all Mulligan's money, is offered a deal by Shitsy: return the money and you get to see your unborn grandkid. Personally, I'd say "No fucking thank you," because that kid is gonna be half LaPoof, so colicky and needy as all hell. Douglas says no at first. However, after he rebuilds a fortune he changes his mind and decides to give Mulligan back the small fraction of what he now has that was what he stole.

I don't know what the fucking moral is in that exchange. Is it that it is okay to steal as long as you return the principal once you've made a fortune? That sort of contradicts Jesus' whole thing about giving according to your means, and giving to those who truly need it. Of course, Stone probably thinks he knows as well as Christ. And what does Douglas sacrifice by giving back the principle? What is the pain and lesson learned? Given that he gets to keep a huge fortune and keep being a greedy asshole with it, why would Mulligan or LaPoof want him in their, or their daughter's lives?

Throughout the movie, various characters talk about the most valuable asset being the dwindling time in a person's life. It and family, the movie wants to tell us, are more important than money. Yet, Wall Street 2 doesn't have much conviction in that. More like the message is that it's sort of important after you've made yourself financially secure and with the capacity to make shitloads more. Maybe that's what Hollywood believes is right. And that's why they suck. Two Fingers for Wall Street 2.

Want to tell Filthy Something?



Shawn Edwards of Fox-TV

Legend of the Guardian is"This movie is great!"

Wall Street 2 is "Visually stunning! You haven't seen anything like it before."

Filthy's Reading
Rex Pickett - Sideways

Listening to
Eels - End Times