By: Oberst von Berauscht (Six Pack) –
Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 is the first of what is supposed to be a trilogy based on writer and philosopher Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel, which perhaps most among her other works, established the tenants of her Objectivist philosophy. Summarized as follows:
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It is the near future of 2016, and the American economy is collapsing. The U.S. Government has begun to socialize every corner of the free market in a noble but fatally off-balanced attempt to stabilize the economy. Here Dagny Taggart, a railroad magnate, and steel mogul Hank Rearden find themselves fighting for their respective companies’ survival. Meanwhile the country’s most enterprising and successful citizens begin disappearing, refusing to participate in a Nation that doesn’t recognize them as exceptional.
I have to hand it to the filmmakers; this movie is trying to make a bold and divisive political statement. It is unfortunate that in their attempt to do so, they manage to go full retard.
You never go full retard
Ayn Rand’s novel gets thoroughly Teabagged by this travesty of filmmaking, both in the figurative sense of adapting Rand’s political viewpoints to further the new American non-party-party as well as probably literally (I’m pretty sure that the producers dropped their balls on a copy of the book somewhere in the process of filming).
Don’t get me wrong, I totally believe that air travel and automobile traffic will be all but unobtainable for the average American four years from now. And that trains will become the primary form of transit for both commercial and personal purposes. It also makes perfect sense that many companies will soon be paying people based on their personal needs rather than rank or individual achievement, ultimately leading to bankruptcy. I also believe that my penis is being taken over by a tiny multi-dimensional troll named Üther, for the purposes of communicating with pliable synthetic fabrics in an attempt to create pants with better fuel-efficiency.
One problem may be with the source material of Ayn Rand’s novel, which over the years has aged very well, like a fine bottle of Thunderbird™ wine. Such as the “greed is human, and deregulation divine” philosophy that was recently proven to be disastrously wrong (derivatives, anyone?). And the film’s argument for this brand of capitalism is made to appear even dimmer by having the antagonists make their decisions purely for the purposes of equalizing societal wealth.
In the conservative 1950’s it makes sense that Ayn Rand couldn’t perceive a difference between basic social reforms and full blown communism. Today though, it just looks like this group of filmmakers set out to create a propaganda piece about as subtle as painting yourself purple and dancing naked on the top of a harpsichord singing “subtle propaganda is here again”.
I’d comment on the acting, if it existed in this film. It appears the director just found random people straight out of college, had them bring their own costumes and said “start talking”. This would explain the shoddily written dialog as well, which I gather was often taken directly from the novel… why is this book so popular again?
Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood had some pretty good special effects, like that trolley car that came around with the townsfolk. I’m just surprised that they didn’t use the wonderful and totally convincing computer images that Atlas Shrugged employs. Sure they would have cost PBS a hundred times what the trolley cost, but at least it would look less convincing.
Welcome to Wisconsin
The creeping realization sinks in that there are indeed two sequels on the way to tell the rest of this empty story.
Do you watch Fox News and love Glenn Beck? Then this might be the movie you’ve been waiting to.. go fuck yourself.
Bonus Drinking Game
Have a Drink: every time someone says John Galt’s name
Have a Drink: whenever the news excitedly covers minor accomplishments in railroad construction
Take a Shot: anytime any character in this movie drinks wine (replacement liver must be on hand)