I watched the two movies back-to-back. It was a good sequel to Wall Street, I have to admit that. I’m not sure I’ve seen the first one, and I definitely hadn’t seen the sequel. Though I do remember the Tulipmania scene for some reason. It must have been in a trailer somewhere.
Anyway, I wanted to talk about greed and the mythography in that movie.
First of all, I wanna say that I love how it’s shown. Gekko is greedy, obsessed with cutting-edge technology for that time, the Buddy character is drawn into that world. He’s cuckolded, led by the nose, even framed without him knowing. I love how tight the script was, with the insider info from his dad being the thing that gave him the edge, and how it led to his downfall and his father’s company destruction.
For the sequel, we have a amazing opening scene for Gekko, he’s given his mobile phone, the brick, which is ridiculous nowadays “..and one… mobile phone.” He’s out of jail, we think the limo is for him, but no, nobody is waiting for him. It’s a low point, showing that greed is not good, even that gangbanger has his crew and his family waiting for him, but not Gekko.
So, he sets out to rebuild it all. I was certain that he would eventually rebuild it all, and it does happen through manipulating his son-in-law and his daughter.
I’d have loved to see a bit more than the whiny little cunt in his daughter’s character. All she does is stare at him disappointed. I never gave a crap about her, nor her website. Sam Witwicki or whatever his name is is also terrible in this movie. I can’t tell how old he is, and why he’s acting so righteous. He looks like a kid acting all tough and it’s not looking like he’s a courageous hero, more like an idiot.
Anyway, despite all that I enjoyed the movie. It had a bit of symbology in it. Gekko explains the Tulipomania, how a bubble is formed. He leaves the frame in the abandoned apartment when he inevitably takes off with their money. Which after all, are his money. The convenient amount of 100 million made me scoff at the troubles of those rich people and their problems. The disconnect is so large that I didn’t really care if they lived or died. All I wanted to see was how low would Gekko fall for his greed.
Another neat symbology in the sequel was the overarching theme of time. He mentions quite a few times that time is the only valuable commodity. And the juxtaposition of his grandson’s sonogram as he clicks away from his billion-dollar earnings to stare at a bunch of grainy pixels on a screen was truly wonderful.
Also, in the main antagonist’s lair, whose name I can’t remember but he was basically Thanos with an economics degree, he has the draft painting of Goya of Kronos devouring his children. Which is another mythical downfall, and it was a simile of Kronos, time, eating his children, meaning time passes and devours what he creates. It’s a bit of weirdness from Greek cosmogony.
In the end, he destroys that painting in his rage, yet another deadly sin. In general the entire movie was full of sin, and I loved that. Even Sam’s mother is obsessed with her own dreams and keeps needing to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars from her son (as I said, rich people problems, boo fucking hoo.) It’s also used to explain the term in the movie about bailouts and trust. The banks bail out the firm, the government bails out the banks, Sam bails out his mother. It’s all the same in different levels, and that’s just awesome writing.
In the end, nobody feels the deep loss of money or the real effects it would have. Everybody is sleek, rich, and well-off. They smoke cigars, attend 10.000 dollar charity events, race with bikes, box each other to show how big of a shark they are. There’s no catharsis.
But, it’s a very quotable movie. I kinda like it, and I might even write something about such a greedy person in my universe. But my Gekko is gonna go through a proper Greek tragedy and experience his downfall.