Atlas Shrugged II

Barb L. and I saw the movie Atlas Shrugged II Tuesday night. There were only a few people in the theater. And after the movie I ended up spending a few minutes explaining bits of it to Barb and the three guys who sat behind us. None of them had read the book.

I liked the casting better than what they did for part 1. I liked that many scenes were essentially directly from the book. But I can see that it fails to get across the points essential to appreciating Rand’s message. And reading the book just doesn’t work for many people. I know several people that just couldn’t “get into it”. Whereas son James and I were spellbound by the book. It resonated with us like few books ever have.

Because the movie doesn’t resonate as well as I wish it did I almost think the movie would be better described as a documentary of our future with the script published in 1957. Judged from that standpoint it does amazingly well.

This is sad considering (from here) “Atlas Shrugged is the ‘second most influential book for Americans today’ after the Bible, according to a joint survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club.”

6 thoughts on “Atlas Shrugged II

  1. I tried to get through the book 3 times. Never made to the end of Part 1. I finally found it on audio book and couldn’t stop listening to it. You might suggest that to your friends.

  2. I’m one of those who could not finish Atlas Shrugged. I finally packed it in at John Galt’s interminable speech. I like Rand fine as an essayist, but not as a novelist.

  3. As a philosophical tract, and piece of allegory Atlas Shrugged is spectacular.

    As a novel… or even a piece of coherently written fiction… It’s execrable.

    Looked at objectively, and separated from the philosophy… It’s garbage. It’s plot, overall story, structure, pacing, overall scene setting, characterization, and dialog are all awful.

    The characters are really not characters; they are caricatures, archetypes, and avatars; who move from set piece to set piece to illustrate points of philosophy, or to set up an expository monologue or dialogue.

    That’s just not a good novel.

  4. Me and the Mrs. screened out copy of part one before heading off to see part 2.

    Apparently the coin they spent on talent drained the effects budget because some of the scenes in part 2, especially the mines, were just terrible. The scenes inside the Rearden plant were just as bad. It felt like they filmed in a closet and then tried to save it with a bunch of flying sparks and CGI molten metal.

    And the track work being done on the John Galt line in part 2 was just a joke. The track laying scenes in part 1 involved either real footage of track laying machines or a lot of location shooting. In part 2? Some guys with crowbars.

    That said, I think some of the money spent on talent was worth it. Jason Beghe performed the Hank Rearden role very well. His speech to the Unification Board was both straight from Rand and perfectly delivered. And Esai Morales as Francisco D’Anconia was perfect.

    I do wonder which Star Trek actor will pop up in part 3. They’ve already burned through ST-DS9’s Armin Shimerman in part 1 and now ST-Voyager’s Robert Picardo in part 2. Who’s next? Someone from ST-TNG? Brent Spiner? Jonathan Frakes?

  5. The Wife and I will do a re-watch of Part 1 before we see Part 2. But we do plan on seeing the entire Trilogy.

  6. @Bubblehead Les, Barb L. and I watched Part 1 on Saturday before watching Part 2 on Tuesday. It helped some but reading the book is probably a necessity to really understand what is going on.

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