Writer-director Oliver Stone, who shows an uncanny knack for anticipating public interest in the subjects he chooses, explores the much-publicized inside trading scandals of the mid-1980s. Set in 1985, the film follows the career of young Wall Street broker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) as he

scrambles to make his first million. His idol is ruthless big-time corporate raider Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas). Fox insinuates himself into Gekko's good graces by giving Gekko inside information about an airline, information he has learned from his father (Martin Sheen), an airline mechanic

and local representative of his union. With the promise of big financial rewards negating his momentary apprehension about breaking the law, Fox willingly goes to work for Gekko. With WALL STREET, Stone intentionally set out to make a good old-fashioned liberal drama about the evils of unchecked

capitalism. This approach results in a film with few shades of gray and lots of moralizing speeches, but Stone nearly pulls it off through his usual visual verve and keen casting instincts. Charlie Sheen is fine as the young, inexperienced kid whose soul is battled for by the forces of good and

evil. Better yet is Douglas, whose Gordon Gekko is a predatory animal seducing the weak into his lair.