DVD Review: Wall Street (20th Anniversary edition)

After watching Wall Street again, two things stand out:
First, Michael Douglas is fantastic as Greedhead Gordon Gecko. Seriously, Michael Douglas took his game to a whole new level with this film. Up to this point, he had had success playing good guys (Romancing the Stone) or the everyman (Fatal Attraction). But with Wall Street, he tossed away silly things like scruples made the character of Gordon Gecko one of the more memorable “villains” of the 80s.

Second: Wall Street is a compelling (and accurate) portrait of America in the Regan era. Yuppie scum making their fortunes on Wall Street while putting their morals in a blind trust. Every third kid was looking to get an MBA and make his fortune buying and selling America.

Charlie Sheen is an up and comer wanting to be the next big thing. He makes the proverbial deal with the devil (or in this case, Douglas). We see him set aside the advice and guidance of his father (played by Charlie’s real life dad Martin Sheen) and that of an honorable broker (Hal Holbrook).

As far as dramas go, I don’t know that Wall Street holds up especially well (even at the time, it was hardly one of Stone’s best films), but the performances make the characters interesting and still kept my attention. You know where the film is going, but the skill of the actors makes the journey worthwhile.

For extras, we get a couple new things of note:
One is a featurette entitled Greed is Good. GiG clocks in at a little under an hour. With interviews with not only cast and crew, but also a number of current Wall Street Greedheads. The film is a bit of a cult classic within the financial community. GiG is quite interesting and certainly worth watching.

We also have some deleted scenes with optional commentary from Oliver Stone. Interesting, but nothing that really adds to the film. Pretty much the kind of stuff that usually fills this kind of bonus feature.

Also included is a commentary track by Stone, which is ok but really not as interesting as I would have expected. It is possible that I was going into it with inflated expectations, but I don’t see it as a must watch (or listen) unless you are hard core Stone fan.

Order Wall Street from Amazon.

Jeremy Lynch

For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.