Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1987. Twentieth Century Fox, American Entertainment Partners L.P., Amercent Films. Screenplay by Stanley Weiser, Oliver Stone. Cinematography by Robert Richardson. Produced by Edward R. Pressman. Music by Stewart Copeland. Production Design by Stephen Hendrickson. Costume Design by Ellen Mirojnick. Film Editing by Claire Simpson. Academy Awards 1987. Golden Globe Awards 1987. National Board of Review Awards 1987. New York Film Critics Awards 1987.
If for nothing else, this film acts as an excellent time capsule of Reagan-era corporate greed, significantly different from nineties corporate greed because later tycoons wouldn’t decorate their apartments in such tacky, trendy styles. Charlie Sheen gives a painfully weak performance as a desperate, low-level stock broker who longs to swim in the big pool with players like Michael Douglas. Douglas, a frighteningly slick, egotistical nightmare of constant consumption takes Sheen under his wing and shows him the ropes of moving up in the world of big money. Douglas’s Oscar-winning performance is terrifying, not because of his big speeches or villainous actions, but because there is nothing unbelievable whatsoever about his character. He could just as soon destroy a nation as light a cigarette and never let his poker face break with either action. His scenes work best in this Oliver Stone melodrama, basically a reworking of Platoon set in Manhattan’s corporate world instead of the fields of Vietnam, while Sheen’s romantic subplot with Daryl Hannah (who is also particularly weak) threatens to sink the whole thing.