I'm not sure what compelled me to see Assault on Wall Street over the weekend. I guess I just figured "How bad could it be?". Well, consider that question answered: it's truly execrable, but not without a few unintentional redeeming qualities.
We all know the basic premise of the movie: big evil banks drive some poor bastard into the poorhouse and he shows up on thefloor with an Uzi and exacts sweet revenge on the behalf of little guys nationwide. For a ham-fisted propaganda piece, the movie is just what you'd expect. Where the movie fails to get it's anti-Wall Street message across, however, is in just how unlikeable the main characters are.
The movie centers on an armored car driver and his sick wife. Neither one of them is memorable in any way, and to prove this I can't even remember what her malady was. Leukemia, I think. Anyway, these two knuckleheads make a series of idiotic decisions which lead to financial catastrophe. The funny thing is that their problems weren't even caused by Wall Street.
Where evil Wall Street comes in is what happens to their savings account. The producers of the movie got so much wrong about this that it's laughable. First of all, the scenes with the big bad Wall Street CEO (played by John Heard) are a direct rip-off of. They didn't even attempt to mask it. The bank has shitty assets and needs to dump them. Cut to trading floor where traders are offered big bonuses to clean house. It's almost word for word Margin Call.
Then we have our hapless rent-a-cop, who somehow has his life savings in RMBS, Commercial SWAPs, and a variety of other instruments limited to accredited investors with their own Bloomberg terminals. Of course all the paper goes pear shaped, and he gets a $60,000 margin call on top of everything else.
I'm just gonna stop right there, because I can feel myself getting pissed off again at how stupid the movie was. I mean, for fuck's sake, the actual assault in Assault on Wall Street didn't even start until 68 minutes into a 98 minute movie. The first two-thirds of the movie was just this dipshit making one low-IQ move after another.
It's gratifying to know that Main Street thinks this movie is a piece of shit, too. It's got a Rotten Tomatoes score of 14%, which puts it in the company of such classics as Gigli and Battlefield Earth. I'm frankly baffled as to how dreck like this gets made.
Here's the trailer if you're bored: