Warning! this post is about to get political, you have Been warned.
at lash shrugged is over 4 hours cut across 2 movies so we can get this "epic tale" in it's true scope and majesty. Similar excuses are why the last Harry Potter, Twilight and why the hobbit were cut into multiple pieces, mostly in the case of the last 3 it's because studios wanted to extend the life of these gravy trains as longs as they could. After the Hobbit, there is no real market for other Tolkien films. As for Potter and Twilight, both authors could continue making sequels with no real guarantee that fans will love them like last time. But imgaine if Lord of the rings couldn't have kept it's leads from one move to the next. Imagine Viggo Mortenson, Orlando Bloom, and even Ian Mc Kellan, jumping ship before the Two Towers even filmed. Then imagine it Fellowship was a flop. I mean, almost to direct to video failure. Contract or not, Two Towers would probably be shelved. But in the case of Atlas Shrugged the makers felt it was so important to make make sequels, to the first film despite just these issues. They had to recast all the leads, and the first film didn't make the kind of money that a Scary Movie, or a Pearl Harbor. Why? Because the message of this film is so important? If that is the case, you still have to wonder will you be able to get someone to sit through 4 hours of long and plodding storyline, to get Ayn Rand's message of objectivism. This film is called a science fiction tale, but with it's improbable logics, and flat out goofy world view this seems to me like calling Ridley Scott's Alien as a Romantic comedy.
In short the story is about Dagney Taggart, a woman who's grandfather built a railroad. She is meant to be a heroic ideal of an industrialist beset on all sides by an evil government forcing collectivism. The "evil government" is obsessed with destroying exceptionalism by forcing companies to share resources with the government. And she and a few others spend the films defying this collectivist government. Meanwhile all kinds of exceptional people are disappearing and here comes all the the "who is John Galt?" A question no one really needs an answer to. The real problem with this movie is Rand's obsessive intent to show her point, she makes an insanely unlikely scenario come to place. The government liberals are so cartoony it's not even funny. The villains are so polarized as to not be believable. As the heroic industrialists begin to leave the evil government, in protest. There is a ton of scenes of people crying about the lack of talented and intelligent people to pull us out of this crisis, because everyone knows that people only create greatness when they are getting paid for it, just look at Linus Torvaldis, Jonas Salk, and Mahatma Ghandi, none of these guys would have toiled or sweat without massive bank being promised right? The other problem especially with Rands fans is that there is a divide in the book between the makers and the takers the government is always portrayed as takers, no better than common criminals with wealthy industrialists being seen as the heroic makers,job creators and overall improves to the human condition. What about bankers, and insurance agents and other middlemen, all absent from Rand's "epic vision" bankers don't make anything, they take your resources, redistribute them and TAKE a profit. Insurance people take your hard earned money on a. Promise they might give you some back if you get into a horrible accident. So why all the Ayn Rand love by the bankers and government types. This movie saga was not worth sitting through with it's long plodding discussions and near total lack of action or intrigue. In short, I give both films 1 star, and they can fight it out or learn to share it.