Equity review: lame financial thriller offers low-yield returns

Wall Street not given a run for its money in this is uneven and woefully cliched film

Sarah Megan Thomas and Anna Gunn in Equity

Film Title: Equity

Director: Meera Menon

Starring: Anna Gunn, Sarah Megan Thomas, Alysia Reiner, James Purefoy, Samuel Roukin, Craig Bierko, Nate Corddry, Nick Gehlfuss

Genre: Drama

Running Time: 100 min

Thu, Sep 1, 2016, 14:50

   

Warning bells sound early on in this lame Wall Street thriller when Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn), a thrusting financial something-or-other, is summoned before her grossly stereotyped boss to be bellowed at. (Come to think of it, the words “grossly stereotyped” could be placed before virtually every noun in this review.)

On the desk between them, a stack of Jenga logs rest insecurely. While they joust, they play. Why, it’s almost as if the game is a metaphor for the shaky financial structures within which they work their schemes. If somebody doesn’t knock the pile over in the last five minutes then I shall be making a complaint the SEC.

Amazingly, this is not the corniest thing in a film that could give Kansas in August a run for corniness (with apologies to South Pacific). Early on, when Naomi is asked what drives her in business, she lowers her lids and says: “I like money”. The honking reminders of Gordon Gekko’s speech from Wall Street echo throughout the rest of an ugly, directionless film.

Even that might be acceptable if Naomi – who is concerned with organising an IPO for a tech firm – were consistent in her vigorous avariciousness. But, as events progress, she oscillates from white-collar thug to moral crusader.

Worst of all is Equity’s pathetic betrayal of its admirable feminist intensions. Here is a film championing women as vital powerbrokers that invites two of its three principals (Naomi’s No 2 and a crusading DA) to use “womanly wiles” to pursue their professional ends. That will never stand up in court, counsellor.