Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? Who Cares?

Rob and I went to see the latest Atlas Shrugged movie last night. I wanted to give it a chance – to finish up the trilogy, despite the decidedly negative reviews that had permeated my online experience since the movie opened last week. I went in with an open mind.

Unfortunately, within literally the first three minutes of the movie, I had my first facepalm – one so hard, I think I may have bruised my face!

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The acting! Oh, dear God – if you can even call it that – was so stilted and stiff, I thought I was watching two sticks of wood act out Dick and Jane books, instead of two characters who have finally discovered a revelation that the other exists in their world! It was quite close to waterboarding as far as the experience of watching it goes, but not as pleasant.

The dialogue! Whoever wrote the script for this atrocity needs to be beaten about the head and shoulders with a leather-bound volume of Shakespeare! Passion? None. Emotion? None. Wonder?  Inspiration? Fire for life? Nothing.

The writers attempted to make this a standalone movie, and spent a good portion of it in expository, dull, unneeded flashbacks. The plot was continuously interrupted by C-SPAN-type commentary.

There was some very pretty cinematography, but it didn’t make up for hideously bad acting, bad editing, horrid direction, and a lack of passion.

I’m not a Randbot by any means. I appreciate the plot in “Atlas Shrugged,” as well as the themes of the evils of socialism, crony capitalism and corruption. I found the novel overly preachy and the dialogue stilted and wooden. That didn’t stop me from enjoying the book immensely, nor did it stop me from enjoying the novel’s other aspects or being inspired by the characters.

This movie? Nothing to enjoy there. Some of the more well known actors were muzzled by the labored, dull script.

Whose idea was it to cast the talented Portuguese actor Joaquim de Almeida, who is pushing 60 years old, as a former love interest of the thirty-something Dagny Taggart? His considerable acting prowess constrained by spiritless, paralyzed script, he was no more Francisco D’Anconia than I am. And frankly, he’s old enough to be Dagny’s daddy, instead of her lover, and the classmate of John Galt and Ragnar Danneskjold.

And speaking of Ragnar Danneskjold, who is supposed to be a study in contradictions – a resplendently handsome aristocrat, a philosopher who took up piracy to battle looting Marxists… played by the same guy who played, the hairy, bear-like, homosexual dress designer/pimp in “American Wedding”??????????????

This guy. In that role. Not that he’s a bad actor, but he transformed Ragnar Danneskjold into a lumberjack from Colorado, and that just takes away the charm and mystery of the character.

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Completely inappropriate casting. Laura Regan’s labored, wooden acting, if you can even call it that. Childish “Project F” prop that looked like it was made of Duplo blocks and Simon Says colored lights.

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I think I would rather sip polonium-laced rail vodka than ever sit through this bit of torture again.

Instead of wondering breathlessly whether John Galt was Prometheus, a pirate, or a myth, I found myself asking, “Who cares?”

 

6 responses

  1. Sadly, I have to concur. It was horrid. On balance, the second installment was the best of the trilogy.

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  2. Is that Joel Osteen in the second pic?

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  3. That’s really a shame to hear. Ayn Rand is a little wordy but she is able to elucidate the reasons socialism is evil better than anyone. Atlas Shrugged changed the way I see the world. The movie is not even playing in my little university commune town, but I feel less bad after hearing that it sucked.

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  4. Speaking of Ayn Rand, I recently purchased an e-book for my Kindle entitled “Ayn Rand Answers”. Was shocked to read her answer when asked what she thought about gun control. Seems she hadn’t given the issue much thought, and considered it unimportant!!! Plus, she seemed to equate the use of deadly force in self defense with murder. I’d have expected better from Ayn.

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  5. I recently purchased a book called Ayn Rand Answers. In it she stated that she hadn’t thought much about the issue of gun control, and considered it unimportant!!! Furthermore, she seems to equate the use of deadly force in self-defense with murder. I’d have expected better from her.

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