|Michael Douglass and Shia LeBeouf in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps": Barry Wetcher/20th Century Fox|
Greed may be good, as Gordon Gekko insisted once upon a time, but evil pays the bills, at least as far as "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is concerned. The best parts of this unfocused, erratic, downright messy sequel are the moments when the bad people take center stage.
So let's hear it for Josh Brolin's Bretton (don't even think of calling him Bret) James, an investment banker with "an ego the size of Antarctica." And some applause for the fearless 94-year-old Eli Wallach's Julie Steinhardt, terrifying when he makes eccentric bird noises and talks about the crash of '29 and the end of the world. And we can't forget Michael Douglas as Gekko Redux, at least in those moments when the film allows him to be as bad as he ought to be.
For this version of "Wall Street" can't make up its mind if Gekko is the bad-to-the-bone Lizard King he once was or someone who's seen the light, thank you very much, and is on the road to redemption. Or maybe he's both. The trouble is, this is not an involving enough enterprise for us to work up the energy to care.
(Click here to read the full text of Kenneth Turan's review on the LA Times website.)