Wall Street is a time capsule – and not just because of the brick-sized cell phones.
Even as recently as 2007 (when this disc’s extras were originally produced for the film’s 20th anniversary), Gordon Gekko was still big business’ lizard king... but after the credit crunch and the bank bail-outs, 2007 is ancient history.
With Oliver Stone returning to mark the return of the king in forthcoming sequel Money Never Sleeps, this doubles as appetite-whetter and ironic history lesson.
The joy here is watching real-life brokers (in doc Greed Is Good) insist they’re nothing like Gekko... While dressing exactly like him. “The excesses of the ’80s were sickening,” says one, implying that Noughties finance was altogether more ethical. Hmmm...
As Blu-ray investment, it’s a dog, an uneven transfer adding a murky pall to proceedings – but the haze aptly makes the film as elegiac as old sepia photos.
Nor does the grain affect the thrust of a film that was always about surfaces anyway, from the sleek glide of Robert Richardson’s camerawork to the slick self-worth of a never-better Michael Douglas.
Dig any deeper, and the sledgehammer subtlety can be grating – and Charlie Sheen struggles to carry the film’s Faust-lite through-line as Gekko’s prodigy. Crucially, though, Stone gets the details right.
The unintelligible stockroom jargon is suitably alienating, but the actors’ poise and tone is authentic: a month’s research shadowing traders pays off in John C. McGinley’s caffeinated performance.
As social anthropology it rivals GoodFellas; the question for Stone’s sequel is whether the Gekko is now extinct.