Sunday, March 20, 2016

Atlas Shrugged, Part 3: Who Is John Galt? (2014)

How bad is it? So far, it's my least favorite film from 2014.
Should you see it? No.

"Atlas Shrugged" is one of the very few novels I was never able to finish; Ayn Rand's writing is horrible and the proselytizing to a bankrupt ideology irritated me. So I wasn't expecting to like this film, but I was interested to see how the story ends. I still wonder, as this film strays pretty far from the original source material. Also, I fell asleep [just being honest].

In the indeterminate near future, there is no electricity because the nuclear power plants and coal-fired plants were closed due to government bureaucracy. Everyone rides trains, as there are no cars or airplanes - for reasons never adequately explained. Some of the world's best people start disappearing and it turns out that they're being kidnapped; how these people are chosen is unclear but it seems to be like choosing the cast of "Dancing With the Stars."

The budget obviously ran out of money before filming ended. Any action scenes were cut. The sound drops out repeatedly. Even with that, the film is miscast, the acting spotty (there's a torture scene that's bad enough to be funny) and there are plot points that seem ludicrous - the titular question is solved by looking in the business directory, the 1950's version of Googling Galt's name. My favorite part was a doctor explaining that he doesn't mind having been forcibly relocated because now he can treat patients rather than do what the government requires; it appears that doctors have magical wands that instantly cure, but can't use them because of government interference!

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