Wall Street 2: As if a Review

I’ve always had the impression, and he has yet to do enough to dissuade it, that Shia Lebouf would only be excellently cast if he was in a Muppets movie. His stock expression of bewildered guillessness would go perfectly with Fonzie, Kermit and, most especially, as a response to the inevitable amorous advances of Miss Piggy.

For those who are just joining us from, perhaps, the nineties, Miss Piggy is a marionette mixed with a puppet– hence “muppet” and is a whore who throws herself at stars.Yes, she is also a pig.

If he is not with Muppets, then he can perform with the next best thing. Toys. Like in movies like Transformers, where the human actors are essentially props and can be pushed under the carpet after the first act. Which in fact they were. Transformers II. I enjoyed that movie, but will never deny that it was like WWE Wrestling. The thing made no sense and the plot was written on a napkin two minutes to editing time. It was: “Bring Robots and they fight.”

Shia said, “Guys, can I play?”

And Michael Bay said, “Okay, but don’t get in the way. And tell Megan to stop raping the motorcycles.”

Wall Street II: Money Never Sleeps is his latest and is the sequel to a classic, a veritable classic, Oliver Stone (himself a veritable classic, come to think of it) made in 1984. Before Muppets became extinct.

The buzz around this movie in Kampala was pretty heavy, and it was surprising. It was very suspicious that so many people would be thinking of Cineplex when the movie didn’t involve explosions and dreams-within-dreams-within-dream spirals.

You guys, I thought the deal was that you watch A-Team, then you go to Eddiesoft and keep your 16k until Expendables arrives. Why was everyone so eager to watch Wall Street II? It’s not like you were there when the first one was made.

Me? Me I was there. But I was watching Muppets. And even then I was too young to understand them. How was I supposed to understand Wall Street?

So all these years later, they make the sequel to the movie. It is set a few years ago, just before the global financial crisis– which is known around here as Credit Crunch. And while age and maturity have brought me the sophistication to finally appreciate the fine points of Muppet humour, I still can’t zig a movie where the script is full of words like “hedge fund” “debit bubble” “reconsolidate stock” “devaluation account” “offshore banking” and no end of abbreviations: BGP, ECM, LFW, MTS…

So I didn’t exactly understand the movie, but I watched it and I liked it. If for one reason, then for one reason only.

Did you know that Michael Douglas won an Oscar for his portrayal of the same guy in the first movie? Well in Seaon 2 he came in to show us why. The movie was bumbling along, Shia looking for a muppet, until Mr Zeta Jones showed up, then it’s as if he walked onto the set, saw Shia, looked at Stone and said, “You guys need some acting here. Let me unleash for you acting. DJ, gimme beats.”

And then he proceeded to act the fuck out of that role.

I swear, it was mesmerising. This little, dusty, wrinkly old white man just spun and spiralled through so many layers and subtleties, so many complexities of emotion and character, it was like watching colours change in a bubble, it was like watching a ballet play across his face. Hell, it was like watching Transformers shoot each other. That’s how mesmerising it was.

Michael Douglas is a great actor. I am sure I finally know how he bagged Catherine Zeta Jones. He acted like he was young and she fell for it.

Meanwhile little Shia got upstaged again. But I’m sure he didn’t mind. There is no shame in being beaten by a master.