Atlas Shrugged II Review

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Jane and I went to see “Atlas Shrugged II” the other evening. It was terrible! The Dagny and Rearden characters had none of the quality of Rand’s people — or even of those in “A.S. I.” As Jane said, Dagny looked more like Dagny’s mother than did the “A.S.I.” Dagny. She reminded me more of Hillary Clinton. In contrast with Rand’s Dagny, in this film version she had more of a look of worry than resolve. She seemed to lack control over what was hers to control. While Rand’s characters were largely two-dimensional, these two exaggerated that quality. I had the feeling that the two actors were paid to read lines whose underlying meanings were simply lost to them. Randian bromides took the place of deeply-held sentiments and principles. The story merely limped along, having neither the energy nor the sense of direction as “A.S.I.” By the end of the movie, I really didn’t care whether Dagny or Rearden realized their objectives — whatever they might have been — or whether the John Galt rail line — the aesthetic heart of “A.S. I.” — prospered or failed. Even Rearden’s wife came off as a more pleasant person than she had been in “A.S. I.”

Rand deserved better than this. We deserve better than this. I can see why it is doing so poorly at the box office: The informal systems of the marketplace are effective, are they not? Like Atlas, those who might otherwise be attracted to a message worth seeing expressed with the passion of which was Rand was capable, may be shrugging it off!

7:25 pm on October 23, 2012