Channel 4: Sunday 23 August, 12.10am
Angry young Wall Street trader Shia LaBeouf hooks up with Michael Douglas’ notoriously greedy stockbroker Gordon Gekko, barely chastened after a few years trading inside prison walls. And we should care because…? Because it’s 2008 and our capitalist crusaders want to bring down the really, really greedy guys as the world faces financial meltdown. Who’s for bailing out? Oliver Stone still has the gliding camera moves to make Manhattan’s gleaming Mammon temples seem like hotbeds of intense intrigue. As melodrama it’s more bust than boom, and no one’s interested in anything but money. Though some good players – Douglas, of course, but also Josh Brolin (in The Goonies when Wall Street came out in 1987) and dear old Eli Wallach (in his last film role at age 94) – work hard to help us keep up with the Dow Joneses, whether we want to or not. With its TV business reports and ostentatious displays of Forbes and Fortune magazine covers, Wall Street 2 often seems more like a visit to the dentist than a movie. Douglas, meanwhile, sourly surveys the unbridled money-grubbing: “Greed got greedier. It’s a disease, like cancer.” The sad thing about all this bullish behaviour? It may be unethical, but it’s not illegal. And guys like Gekko are still playing the game.