Strike two for ‘Atlas Shrugged’
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 21:10
After the box office, critical and qualitative failure of “Atlas Shrugged Part 1,” the attempt to put the entirety of Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” on the big screen looked to be dead. However, through the power of having way too much money to spend, a new cast was gathered and, through hard work, “Atlas Shrugged Part 2” was made even worse than the first.
Beginning where Part 1 left off, snobbish wealthy people continue to be incredibly wealthy while they complain about how they’re not going to make quite as much money in the middle of an economic downturn bad enough to cause trains to become the primary form of transportation. Meanwhile, a shadowy figure name John Galt is luring every person with initiative into a make-believe fantasy candy-land that no one with a rational mind would believe exists.
Probably the biggest problem with both parts of the movie is that exactly none of the characters are at all likeable or relatable. The protagonists complain about being mooched off of while they’re participating in extravagant parties and casually paying hundreds of dollars for a single fill-up. They also, by their own admission, are only interested in money, which is apparently something we’re supposed to cheer on. The fact that the audience has more sympathy for the brutal dictatorship of the antagonists than for the exploitative monopolies of the main characters says a lot about the writing.
It also says a lot about the writing when a movie that involves explosions, jet chases, scandals and forbidden romance is unbearably dull. The staleness of the film is much worse than it simply being bad. If the movie was entertainingly bad I might recommend seeing it, but there is nothing redeeming in a movie that makes ninety minutes feel like four hours.
The new cast exceeds expectations because no one could have predicted that they would manage to be even worse actors than the cast of “Part 1.” However, it’s not that important, because even if there was a cast of Shakespearean- trained, Oscar-nominated actors, the characters would still be pretentious twits.
Having not read the book, I don’t know how John Galt is presented in that medium, but the movie shows a character who talks like he’s high on a cocktail of hallucinogens, presenting to various characters utopian nonsense, which they unbelievably eat up. He only takes hard-working initiative takers into his fairyland where they’ll supposedly all be successful, which fails to accommodate for the general class system that exists in every society in the world.
“Atlas Shrugged Part 2” fails in every conceivable way: from the completely hyperbolic nature of the arguments presented in the film, to the amazing lack of acting talent and to the overall lack of interesting events. Given that this movie was made despite the lack of success of “Part 1,” “Atlas Shrugged Part 3” is inevitable, and there is absolutely nothing in this movie to indicate that it will be of any quality whatsoever.