Movie Review:  “Atlas Shrugged Part II” Movie Review:  “Atlas Shrugged Part II”
Movie Review:  “Atlas Shrugged Part II”

Movie Review: “Atlas Shrugged Part II”

Movie Review:  “Atlas Shrugged Part II”

by Steve Eastman, Faith Issues

It’s no coincidence that Atlas Shrugged Part II was released just a few weeks before the Presidential election.  Just as Part I carries a sense of déjà vu as real life politicians subvert economic law to gain more influence, Part II brings a sense of foreboding.  We get a picture of what the consequences may be if we let momentum have its way.

“Atlas Shrugged Part II” is an economic thriller — a rare genre — that’s executed dramatically enough to leave even the most politically naïve without excuse.

Although the action takes place shortly after the end of the first movie in the series, most of the main characters look several years older.  Maybe I just noticed because it’s only been a few days since I rewatched Part I at home.  It turns out the cast is new, but they did a fine job of moving the story forward.

Our protagonist — Dagny Taggart, the chief operating office of a railroad — is frustrated that the people who make things happen in business, are bailing out to parts unknown due to a government “fairness” policy that discourages achievement and rewards mediocrity.  As one character put it, “It’s as if some destroyer is sweeping up everyone who could get us out of this mess.”  

Throughout the movie, Dagny wistfully gazes at an oversized picture of her father, who guided the family business in happier times.  Her brother, the C.E.O., doesn’t get it and looks to the government for favors.  Dagny ends up resigning — at least temporarily — and is replaced by a twenty-something who knows little about running a railroad.

Society noticeably breaks down as talent continues to hemorrhage in the six months or so of the movie’s timeline.    The government responds by making it illegal to fire workers, look for another job and spend less money than last year.  Holders of patents must donate them to the “common good.”  And no new inventions are allowed

Dagny defies the government by trying to develop a revolutionary motor that extracts static electricity from the air.  But just as her engineer is successful, he decides to disappear too.  Dagny fills up her pickup — that’s $865.72 at $42.39.9 per gallon — and tries to reach him first.  Let’s just say it all ends in a cliffhanger, making you wish you could pop disk three into the Blue ray player right away.  We’ll have to wait a while for that.

Is there any way the movie could have been better?  Only if Ron Paul had been written into the script and was allowed to play himself.   (Just kidding folks.)

The movie was true to Atlas Shrugged author Ayn Rand, who wrote, “Money is the barometer of society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done not by consent but by compulsion — when you see that in order to produce you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing — then you will know that your society is doomed.”

© 2012 Faith Issues

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