Bringing back the dastardly Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) to preside over the 2008 economic meltdown sounded like a great idea for a sequel, but the setup for this Oliver Stone drama keeps its iconic villain so far removed from the financial action that he seems like a dog tied up outside a restaurant. Paroled from prison, Gekko reinvents himself as an economic Cassandra, hawking his memoir at Borders and inveighing against our over-leveraged society. ("Greed is good," his zeitgeist-defining pronouncement from the 1987 Wall Street, is replaced by the Oprah-ready "Buy my book! Production and profits work!") Screenwriters Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff dutifully re-create the first movie's mentor-protege dynamic by having Gekko slither up to an ambitious young trader (Shia LaBeouf) who's engaged to Gekko's estranged daughter (Carey Mulligan). Some welcome skulduggery ensues, but the movie's ultimate agenda of rehabilitating a classic bad guy is a big disappointment. With Josh Brolin, Frank Langella, and Susan Sarandon. PG-13, 133 min.
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