Michael Caine has been in about a bazillion movies. Some went largely unnoticed by the movie-going public. One of those was the delightfully dark 1990 film, A Shock to the System. I'm not even sure if this had a theatrical release, or if it was straight to video.
Aside from Mr. Caine, the movie had a great supporting cast, such as Peter Riegert and Elizabeth McGovern. The movie centers around Caine's character, one of several middle-age ad execs who are getting passed over and pushed out in favor of young, irritating yuppies. For awhile, Caine is the whipping boy, doormat for the New Corporate Order of the self-obsessed 80s yuppies, until a chance encounter with a bum changes his attitude...
This movie is like a murder mystery in reverse. You get to see the killer plotting his moves, calculating the angles, and dodging suspicion. And it's the killer you're rooting for, because his victims are the soulless embodiment of greed. So yeah, it's a bit on the dark side, but it's the dark side we all wish at one time or another we could walk. Well written, well acted, and I would say well directed, this is a great movie that should have been big but wasn't. An evil take on the greedy culture that begat the amazing movie Wall Street.
Netflix has this one. Check it out if you haven't seen it yet. If you have, post your thoughts here!