WALL STREET: 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
Michael Douglas as GORDON GEKKO
Charlie Sheen as BUD FOX
Daryl Hannah as DARIEN TAYLOR
Martin Sheen as CARL FOX
Directed by: Oliver Stone
Studio: 20th Century Fox
BY KEVIN CARR
In the late 1980s, uber-liberal Oliver Stone made a film about the cutthroat world of the stock market. Inspired by the insider trading scandals of that era, Stone made a film about the evils of greed. Strangely enough, the iconic line “Greed is good” from his award-winning film “Wall Street” has become the mantra of daytraders and stock brokers today.
The film tells the story of a young stock broker named Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) who bursts out of cold-calling hell to become the protege of the venomous Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas). Gekko represents every evil money-grubbing cliche. He’s a man with no conscious who loves money more than life itself. In the constant pursuit of profit, Gekko shows Fox the underhanded (and often illegal) ways of his business.
While Gekko is presented as a villain, he has become a hero to many in today’s world, and this is the irony of the film. “Wall Street” is beloved by many in the financial world for the first 100 minutes or so. They often turn a blind eye to the downfall of these smarmy business practices shown near the end of the picture.
Still, “Wall Street” is a compelling drama that is exceedingly well acted (with the obvious exception of the wretched Daryl Hannah), and it’s probably one of the best written pieces the Oliver Stone has ever produced. However, I can’t help but think his message gets mixed with some of his film. If he were really getting his point across to people, would money-hungry daytraders be enamored with Gekko as much as wannabe gangstas are with Tony Montana from “Scarface” (another Oliver Stone creation).
The 20th anniversary DVD comes with an audio commentary by Oliver Stone and a second disc with extensive special features. Some additional material includes an introduction by Stone, several deleted scenes with commentary by Stone and two in-depth behind-the-scenes documentaries about the making of – and the legacy of – “Wall Street.”