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|Index||96 reviews in total|
58 out of 80 people found the following review useful:
What would Ayn say?, 13 October 2012
Author: robbit-5 from United States
After paying $11 to see ATLAS SHRUGGED at a local Cineplex, I felt
compelled to write this review for IMDb. The earliest review for this
movie I read for this movie appeared to have been written by someone
who hadn't even seen the movie yet! (It was also posted the day before
the theatrical release) In fact, the extreme polarization of the
majority of IMDb users appears to be strictly along political lines,
since most gave the movie either a 10 or a 1! It seemed obvious to me
that neither perspective was likely to be accurate or helpful in
assessing whether this movie would be worth seeing.
For full disclosure, I would consider myself to be a political moderate and a longtime fan of Ayn Rand's work While I do agree with many of Ayn's sentiments about socialism, I do also resent the fact that her work is now being appropriated (and attacked) as some sort of political manifesto. Therefore, the film should be judged solely on its merits and faults NOT because you're a liberal or a conservative.
The original 1957 novel was intended as Ayn's most extensive statement on her philosophy of Objectivism and is considered by many followers to be her masterpiece. I would instead judge it to be an important, but flawed masterwork. I see ATLAS SHRUGGED as her love letter to the America that inspired for freedom, liberty and capitalism. It is also a dire warning that allowing more government and socialist policies could transform our nation into the Russia she so bitterly left behind in 1925.
The main problem I found with the book was that the characters were unrealistically polarized in their attitudes about the individual's role in society. As a result, I often found them a bit rigid, cold and lacking in any sort of personality that the reader might empathize with. Instead, Ayn entirely expected her readers to embrace the heroes in her work for their ethics, virtue and idealism alone. What she didn't anticipate were the mediocre actors that would wind up portraying her heroes and villains This "character weakness" in her original writing is greatly magnified in this theatrical rendering,especially with the B and C list acting talent that was enlisted. To make matters even worse, budgetary constraints forced the producers of ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART 2 to recast almost ALL of the main characters?! Having watched PART 1 over a year ago, this wasn't entirely bothersome since most of the original actors weren't all that memorable to begin with. However, I can see this change being a bit more perplexing if I were to view both parts back to back. Samantha Mathis did an acceptable job with the Dagny Taggart role, but most performances were fairly unmemorable. The only semi-familiar faces I could pick out were Diedrich Bader (best known for The Drew Cary Show) and Arye Gross (from Ellen).
Many of the core ideas of the book, such as "The Strike" that part 2 covers, are presented awkwardly. Therefore, the reasoning behind the actions for the strike might seem hokey or incomprehensible to those who are unfamiliar with the original book. Also, the story has been given a bit of a modern face lift which I don't necessarily take issue with. The signs advertising gasoline for $42 a gallon at various points in the movie are both chilling and somehow humorous at the same time. I say humorous only because the story seems so fantastical at some points that I couldn't help but question the credibility of this ominous vision of the future. But more often I found myself struggling to remember what was originally in the book versus what was added by the screenwriters. Regardless of who is to blame, the results are a blemish upon my memories of the original book.
The decision to chop the book into 3 parts with widely staggered release dates has only served to make this controversial and often difficult book into a confusing mess. And by presenting the story in such delayed and mismatched parts, it's far less likely anyone other than a devoted Rand fan would bother to see all three parts. I actually made a point to see the movie during its opening weekend for fear that it would leave theaters quickly. (ATLAS SHRUGGED PT. 1 lasted only a few weeks in Atlanta and was next to impossible to find on the Internet for the following 6 months.) ATLAS SHRUGGED PT. 2 (and the series as a whole) is a disappointing and confusing representation of the original book. While I was initially thankful that someone finally managed to bring this book to celluloid, that feeling has now turned to regret. I felt very conflicted about the movie after leaving the theater and my friends (who were less familiar with the book) were fairly negative, even though they were politically sympathetic to the ideas in the movie.
Although I will probably watch part 3 (IF it ever gets finished), I can't see giving this movie anything more than a 4/10 score. I can't really see a casual viewer with little knowledge of Ayn Rand's work or the original book getting much out of this production. This alone should be considered the film's most grievous failure.
But as Ayn Rand would say, don't trust anyone else's mind before your own. If you are a fan of her books, then take the time to see these movies and find your own perspective. Her ideas alone are worth discussion and maybe someone else can be inspired to do this book justice.
72 out of 110 people found the following review useful:
Better Than Part 1, 12 October 2012
Author: Ang Patrick from United States
Just finished watching this. Moves better than part one for sure. The
acting is better as well. Some of the graphics still show it is not a
high budget movie, but they didn't detract from the story.
They did a great job of connecting the story to today, as is quite easy to do with the subject material. The signs held outside protests were from today...
As with the first one, some of the 'bigger' concepts and ideas the characters were discussing went by fast and for people not familiar with the work already, those parts will be hard to keep up with.
And to be clear, for all who have actually watched the movie, there is no need to wonder why they made a sequel... It isn't a sequel, it is Part 2.
59 out of 87 people found the following review useful:
A decent follow up to part 1, 12 October 2012
Author: imdb-20212 from United States
I just came back from watching part 2 and up front, I will say that I
was disappointed that the original cast was unable to return for part
2. That being said though, once the movie started I didn't really care
about that anymore.
I thought Dagny being portrayed by an older actress was actually more in-line with the way I viewed her when reading the book, and the same goes for the other actors, like Eddie Willers, etc. I'm unsure how I feel about DB Sweeney portraying Galt himself since I never considered him a very strong actor, but that's a moot point in part 2 anyway.
As others have noted, the special effects in this aren't exactly top quality, but they're passable. It reminded me of the type you'd see on a SyFy original movie or something along those lines... not bad, but not great.
Overall, it was a good movie. Let's face it, if you liked the book, you'll like the movie. If you hated the book (or never read it, but hate the very idea of it), you'll hate this movie too. But that hatred would have nothing to do with the movie itself, but about your views of Rand's philosophy.
I'd give the movie a technical rating of 5-6 because it wasn't too bad, and some of the cinematography was actually pretty well done. Content I give it a 9 because I appreciate where Rand is coming from, so let's call it an 8 out of 10 overall.
70 out of 110 people found the following review useful:
Better than the first; Initially difficult to pair with Part 1, 12 October 2012
Atlas Shrugged Part 2 followed Rand's magnum opus very closely: in
terms of plot & storyline. Overall an excellent depiction of the book.
Fifty years later, the message is still (if not more) relevant and just
as rejected by looters.
The acting in the second Atlas Shrugged movie was much better than in the first Atlas Shrugged. The cast selections in this movie matched the appearance and demeanor conceived by Rand in her book better so than did the thespians in the first Atlas Shrugged movie. However, due to the fact that I had the previous cast images in my mind (from the first movie) it was initially difficult (right-brain-wise) for me to invest in the story being told as the sequel to the first movie.
The special effects and sound quality were indicative of the purpose for which the movie makers were aiming. This, however, was not a huge negative for the film as anyone expecting such entertainment value from this film obviously miss the objective of the movie makers. Similar in objective to the movie "I (Heart) Huckabees", this movie attempts to put into picture and sound the abject ideas found in a philosophical system ...and similar to "I (Heart) Huckabees", this movie entertains those who are seeking such entertainment more so than it does those who are looking for just entertainment by means of flashy effects and dramatic plot-lines.
This movie (and its predecessor) find their place on my favorite move list somewhere between "I (Heart) Huckabees" and "Memento". I do not separate this movie from its predecessor due to the fact that it is its sequel and an excellent one at that. There are few films that offer as much as does Atlas Shrugged (I and II). For a movie that entertains, presents the tenets of a world-view, begs discussion and debate, and educates; while also engaging in a wonderfully crafted story: there are few films that function on this level and even fewer films that functions as such so well.
53 out of 94 people found the following review useful:
Another really well done movie, 12 October 2012
While I have never read the book, the way this movie is filmed and the
lack of big named stars really took me in. This is a wonderfully
produced movie with some incredibly deep overtones of the situation
that the US is currently potentially facing.
The acting is excellent and the dark feel and sense of hopelessness really gets inside of you as I realize this is a possible future as being orchestrated by the powers that be. Art imitates life so to speak and being someone who deeply distrusts the main stream media, seeing it as the 100% propaganda that it is and has researched a lot into the darker truths about those running our country, its almost as if Ayn Rand was seeing the way the power structure of the world was setting up the world to achieve its goals of domination and subservience of the US population.
Fear is rampant in this moment and the government uses that fear to take even further control from the people. This movie should hit home and make us take stock of what we have and wake up to what the military industrial complex, bankers and power elite have in store for those of us that continue to stand still with our head buried in the sand while all of our liberties are taken by us one by one.
16 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
A difficult movie to get involved with., 16 October 2012
Author: cfb-150-652465 from United States
This movie series is based upon the book by Ayn Rand. It is a political movie with a sci-fi, world of the future flair. What is the world like when the "rich pay their fair share" is taken to extremes? What if the most talented people begin to disappear? And who is John Gault? One problem with this movie is that you need to have seen Part 1 first. It is currently available streaming on Netflix. The second problem is that none of the actors/actresses in Part 1 are in Part 2, even though their characters are. This discontinuity is disturbing, especially since the actors in Part 1 were better. The third problem (minor I agree) is that the Foley (sound) artist seems to think that a jet sounds like a WWII propeller plane when it goes by. The fourth and biggest problem is that there is a Part 3 to the story, but no announcement that Part 3 is in production. If this movie does poorly, there may not be a Part 3 and you'd be left hanging unless you buy and read the book. It doesn't look too promising since there were three people in the theater when I saw it (including me). I was pulled into the story (both Part 1 and 2), so I didn't find it a waste of time. But I'm going to have to get the book to find out the ending. My recommendation is that unless you're a die-hard movie goer like me, pass on this movie.
17 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
A big disappointment, 25 October 2012
Author: hpande504 from United States
I had liked Part I very much and was waiting to see Part II as soon as it was available in our local theater. What a let down it was. I could accept that the key roles were played by different people than in Part I. But the actress who played Dagny was a big let down. She just did not fit the image of the smart, tough and independent Dagny. The director portrayed her as a sexy woman by focusing too much on her cleavage and showing her chest in almost all shots. Her acting was also not impressive. It was not so in Part I even though it included sexual scenes. I was hoping that Part II would be as good or better than Part I and I was going to buy both DVD's for my collection. But now now. I cannot say anything good about this movie.
12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Read the book instead, 15 October 2012
Author: red82991 from New Jersey
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I love Atlas Shrugged, it's one of my favorite books. So even though I
didn't expect too much from this film I was very excited to see it. But
much of the appeal of the novel to me is the challenge of trying to
connect with the philosophy behind the story of railroads, metals and
motors. On those terms this adaptation of Atlas comes across as
extremely watered down, almost like I was watching a film adaptation of
a summary of the novel, not the novel itself. The problems start in the
very first scene with the huge cliché of showing the ending first and
then presenting the movie as a flashback leading up to that point.
Forgivable, but gimmicky. Second, I'm not used to groaning or rolling
my eyes during a film, but this one had me doing it often, particularly
when any character asked "Who is John Galt?" I felt like it was used to
remind us that we were watching Atlas Shrugged. And worse, it was used
SO incorrectly! The exposition on the film was horrendous, lacking in
any sort of artistic ingenuity. The film's method of informing the
audience about the past events was basically "Hey Dagny, remember when
we built the John Galt Line and everyone tried to stop us but we did it
anyway?" "Yep Hank, I remember that."
In short, details aside such as I've mentioned, I can't imagine how the film could have been better. I can't imagine how somebody could do a decent adaptation of Atlas Shrugged without losing the entire purpose for which it was written. I can't say I'm disappointed, only because I didn't have high expectations to begin with.
16 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
New cast makes this one not nearly as good., 12 October 2012
Author: gt_speck from United States
The pace of Part 2 was much better than Part 1, but then that's true of the book as well. Didn't think much of the new cast nor the new look - it's as if the producers tried to glam it up to make this one look more appealing than the first - for example all the female characters were well endowed and showed it off needlessly, including a very cheap scene with Dagny early on. On the subject of Dagny, the actress in that role was terribly miscast - too old for the character, and she had a very bloated look which probably looked worse than it was because of the slim, trim Dagny we saw in Part 1. Acting was well short of the first. Overly dramatic at times and poorly acted in general. Bader turned in a good performance in a small role, as did the rail line worker Dagny spoke to alongside the train near the end. By far the most believable character in the film. Too bad, I think the original cast would have done a good job with this story.
28 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
Better Than The First, Though Still Shaky, 12 October 2012
Author: Tyler Hamilton from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To begin, I say if you've seen the first one, I think you will like the second one much better. The production was certainly better (with an increase in budget, it better have been.) There's still some weird directing cues/scenes in the movie, but it's limited.
The writing was a little bit better in the second one. I will say I got pumped during Francisco's speech at Jim's wedding (though obviously cut very short, but I think they did a decent job getting the main point across) and also his speech to Rearden in his office about telling Atlas to shrug.
One of the worst things, however, is they leave out Ragnar Danneskjold. The entire time I was watching Rearden starting to figure it out, figure it out, and I'm going "Okay, Ragnar should appear soon.l" But no such luck. I don't know they're just going to wait to put Ragnar in the third movie. (They also have Francisco's and Dagny's meeting of him trying to stop her from returning in a cabin, rather than her apartment.)
Obviously, some things are changed for whatever reason, but leaving out the Ragnar-Rearden scene from the second part of the novel is silly. I suppose you could make the case, "Well, he's not really a major character", but that's even sillier, considering it's him, Galt, and D'Anconia as the three men behind the chaos.
As for the actors, I thought that the new cast was actually surprisingly good except for Samantha Mathis. It wasn't that Mathis' acting was horrible. It actually wasn't all that bad. For the most part, it's just that she doesn't look like she fits the role of Dagny like the previous actress did. She looks too worn out, too tired, but at times beautiful. I understand, of course, the purpose of making her look tired. If she reprises the role, I imagine that they might try to make her look less tired (seeing as she'll be coming back from Galt's Gulch.)
I think the actor who played Jim Taggart was sort of weirdly chosen. Patrick Fabian is certainly a good actor and can deliver lines well. I just actually think he might be too handsome to play Jim. I don't ever remember Jim striking me as someone very good looking.
They also chose Larisa Oleynik to play Cherryl Brooks. I think that was actually a great choice. Good actress, beautiful woman, but also can play that sort of doe-eyed girl taken aback by Jim Taggart (since, at this point, he's deemed the champion of the John Galt Line). But it also made me instantly like, "Oh no I'm going to get attached to this character knowing what happens to her in the end."
D.B. Sweeney is supposed be John Galt. You never actually see him, of course. (Or I didn't at all). I hope he actually isn't chosen to play Galt in the third film Too old looking. And too worn down looking.
The other actors who played Hank, Francisco, Eddie, and Lillian did a great job. (Though the actor who plays Eddie Willers just doesn't strike me as being Eddie Willers, but he's certainly not bad.)
But overall I thought it was a good movie. Better than the first. Certainly a little more dialogue with context towards some of Rand's ideas. But the feeling I still get from the first two movies is still like, "They still keep missing out on huge opportunities". I know it's still low-budget. So I'm not expecting miracles.
I think that's really where you have to see it as. It's individuals who are putting all their money in it, but it's not going to be, say, the type of production you'd get out of The Dark Knight Rises. It's done much better though.
So, if you're a fan of Ayn Rand, of Atlas Shrugged, and you enjoyed the first one, go see it.
It takes getting used to the new actors for the second movie, but I think they'll surprise you (though occasionally not seeming to necessarily fit the appearances of the characters you'd have in your head).
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