There are a bazillion reviews out there for Atlas Shrugged Part 1, so here’s a short review:
Book vs. Movie
Ayn Rand fans, you are not the first people to have loved a book and thought the movie didn’t do it justice. No movie ever will. Books can go into way more detail that a two and a half hour movie can. Take the movie for what it is, be glad Ayn Rand’s name was on the silver screen across the nation, and suck it up.
- The casting for Hank was spot on
- Same for Lillian
- Francisco was smoking. Yes, he was shabby and not like the clean cut Francisco of the book, but playboys of the 50s looked much different than they do now. The modernization of him was done well.
- There were some good zingers: “Oh, you’re done?”
- The running of the John Galt Line
- Setting up the story for modern circumstances: trains are relevant because airplanes can’t afford gas at $40 a gallon
- Ellis Wyatt is so damn lovable
- The very last scene with the burning Wyatt fields and the sign
- There’s finally a movie about this. There’s been talk of it for decades.
- The theater was packed
- The random freeze frames that typed out the info of the missing heros looked they were spliced from a bad spy movie
- The utter cheesiness of John Galt when talking to people
- John Galt should have been more of a mystery
- All of Hank’s personal issues were left out, so no dramatic clash between Dagny and Lillian over the bracelet, guilt about wanting Dagny, or the speech after sex
- The sex scene was way too sweet for people who had the hots for each other for years. The sex scene from The Notebook would have been more appropriate.
- Hugh Akston and Stadler were all wrong
- Where’s Cherryl?!
- Dagny was softened up too much
- The villains were much to direct about their real intentions
It was an decent movie, but not a great one. I think they were limited by a low budget and time constraints. The dialogue was pretty stale. But they did get the ideas right and I think it will do a good deal to promote Ayn Rand in the culture. I just hope the second and third movies will get produced. When we were leaving the theater, I heard a kid behind me say, “That was kind of cool.” His grandmother said, “Yep. When you get older you can read the book.”