OK, you want to take a guess of the last time I saw a fucking vignette split screen technique used in a movie (framing where the edges fade into the picture behind it like those old pictures from the 1920’s)? The Great Muppet Caper. That’s fuckin’ right, so here’s to you, Miss Piggy, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a post-production professor’s worst nightmare with painfully old “80’s-dating-VHS” transitions, improperly placed cutting, and uncomfortably unfitting music, all used to wrap a deceptively-succulent-yet-watered-down plot with crumbly, overcooked, intern-victimized, experimental bacon (sorry Miss Piggy) and no, that doesn’t make everything better just because it’s there.
It’s not that it was designed as a bad movie, it was just oblivious to how poorly executed it was. You could tell it had big dreams, just not a lot follow through and it sorta forgot about the whole “suspense” thing. It tells you at the very beginning that the movie is about a conspiracy, then goes and tries to pretend that that was the big twist which is like planning your own surprise birthday party and then convincing yourself to be surprised at it.
You could see every next step coming from a mile away; the path of the story was painfully linear and poorly masked by intelligent dialogue that gave you that whole “not everything is what they seem” feeling but failed to actually deliver. I’m sorry, but just because you put a bunch of geniuses in a room playing Candy Land, it doesn’t make it a smarter game. Then the film has the audacity during its big climax to do that whole “compilation of sequences in the movie that, if you paid better attention to them, you could have figured out the ending” thing just to slap you in the face with its “genius” but the fact of the matter is I’ve seen bigger stumpers on Blue’s Clues.
To give you the quick rundown, Shia LeBeouf plays Jake Moore, a hot-shot stock broker looking to marry the daughter of the famed Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), who is fresh out of prison and looking to get his fame and glory back. Caught in a corporate conspiracy that shuts his entire firm down so fast that the judicial system kind of forgets it should probably do something here, Jake gets taken under Gordon’s wing to investigate and discover the shocking truth that there was foul play! Oh noes! Meanwhile, Gordon is pulling his own strings to ensure his financial future again by manipulating Jake, because Gordon’s fucking daughter says he would and Jake is like “no, your greedy, manipulative, broke, recently-out-of-prison fucking mastermind of a father has truly been rehabilitated and become a trustworthy individual because Wikipedia said so.” Then in a series of twists about as shocking as dominoes not falling up, the movie ends with everyone getting a good laugh about everything that’s gone on and they all hold hands and skip down the sidewalk to live happily ever after.
Really, Money Never Sleeps was just a big waste of time. Yeah, I appreciated some of the intelligent dialogue, but that’s really about it. Poor production value and a just plain easy plot made this horribly disappointing to the point of just downright bad. It wasn’t fun, you couldn’t like any of the characters, which really sucks because Carey Mulligan, who I fell in love with in An Education was in it and I was expecting something amazing for that, and it just failed to be entertaining because there was no mystery and intrigue. Horribly frustrated about it, but its intelligence and awesome CONCEPT of a story is worth 5 dustbusters out of 10. Though honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it.