1. Michael Douglas redirects the twitching intensity of his full-blown sex addiction from his groin to his face. It's an ability which has assisted him throughout his life, not just in his virile potrayal of Wall Street titan Gordon Gekko.
|"It's incredible. He's boned the cancer into remission."|
2. Instead of spending the evening beating a hooker like she was a coke-filled pinada, Charlie Sheen calmly watches the Changing Rooms crew use brick-effect wallpaper to ruin his apartment. Then, instead of locking them all in a cupboard and building a new world around mescaline and syphilis, as Bud Fox he assembles delicate vol-au-vonts with a lady and makes sweet love to her by candlelight. At the end of the night, finding himself on a balcony instead of rehab, he whispers, "Who am I?". This moment's not scripted. We're witnessing the existential breakdown of a man who's lost himself to the role. After the scene Sheen was hospitalised.
3. Michael Douglas races a dune buggy. Sure he's laughing on the outside, but you can tell he's frightened. He has the wild-eyed look of a charity skydiver. Even his mullet is nervous.
|"Michael I'm scared." |
"Me too, little buddy, but don't scream - don't give them the satisfaction."
"Or let them know I'm sentient.""Or that."
4. Terence Stamp's performance as icy-cool corporate raider Sir Larry Wildman is so aristocratic, Englishmen can't help but jerk to attention and shoot a Zulu whenever he appears onscreen.
|"I could break you, mate, in two pieces over my knees. I know it, you know it. I could buy you six times over. Here's fine thanks, just pull over on the left."|
5. Michael Douglas's morning stroll along his beach, on the phone to Charlie Sheen, is the best advert for greed since the prodigal son. The icy dawn sky is Gekko's alone, the empty sea crashes at his feet, and Buddy's silent desire washes down the line in palpable waves. For Gekko, being rich is never better than when the other guy isn't. And boy, do you want to be him.
|"I wish you could see this...I'm holding it with one hand."|
6. Great melodramatic lifestyle thrillers come along once every aeon, when a Talking Heads soundtrack aligns perfectly with the flare of Sheen's nostrils and the volume of Daryl Hannah's hair. It's a crucial formula. In Wall Street 2, substituting one value with a birthday party and the other with Shia Lebeouf playing a grown-up caused the whole noble enterprise to collapse into irrelevance. Thankfully, we will always have Wall Street 1, a touchstone for the 1980s. Whenever we want, we can see the world through Gordon Gekko's eyes; a world of braces, Brylcream and comfortable linen casualwear.
|The world through Charlie Sheen's eyes.|