STUDIO: THE STRIKE PRODUCTIONS
RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 12, 2012
Atlas Shrugged, Part II: The Strike is a difficult film to appropriately write about for a reviewer. The simple reason being that it is so much more than just a based-on-the-book film. It’s also a political film, much like Avatar (without being nearly as good). It’s one thing to ignore the political aspects when reading the book due to the overwhelming awesome-ness of the story. However, actually seeing it laid out before you in motion picture format? Well, that is an entirely different experience.
As with most book-to-movie scenarios, the book is just better than this intended trilogy. Although, I do applaud the effort to turn such a complex novel into a semi-decent film, you’re better off just reading the book for multiple reasons. The first reason being that if you hate political propaganda as much as I do, it’s far easier to ignore. Another reason being that you don’t have to wait another year to find out what happens next. A third, you don’t miss out on important details.
Now, if you happen to enjoy political movies, you may actually like this film – although, that’s a long shot. Rand’s views of objectivism and the radical ideologies she implies in her views on capitalism are clearly shown in part two of this trilogy more so than part one. Whether your political preferences are Left or Right, Red or Blue, Donkey or Elephant (yes, I recognize my redundancy), you’ll probably find something to agree with and disagree with in this film.
As a story, this film was just as bland and blah as it predecessor. The new cast was an interesting touch and the new director was gladly welcomed, but they still weren’t enough to save it.
The movie picks up with Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden’s self-sent mission to figure out where all of these artists and big shots are disappearing to. They, in the last movie, discovered some plans and now are trying to figure out how to make this electromagnetic motor work. Also, they still don’t know who the heck this John Galt guy is.
Here’s the thing with this movie: it’s awkward. I don’t mean that it particularly “sucks” but it was like a more modern day version of the book kept in a 1950s mindset. I know that sounds a bit confusing so, let me explain. The book on which this film is based was published in the 1957. So, naturally, there are all kinds of elements of the overall story that happen to unfold with a 1950s mindset. Now, that’s okay, but you also have a modern elements being added.
The meshing of the two time periods shouldn’t have happened. The entire railroad part of the story doesn’t make sense the way it would if the film had been set in the 1950s (or close to it). It was utterly incongruous.
While I particularly enjoyed the novel (written by Ayn Rand, in case you didn’t know), Part II did it no better justice than Part I. The film was annoyingly dull – even if you didn’t read the book.
Another issue that I have with it is that the actors just did not do a very good job. I get trying to work with a lousy script, but at least show us that you want to be making this movie. They were all very bland in their acting. It felt like I was watching people who were, more or less, acting on autopilot.
The special effects weren’t very special, either. I understand that this was a low-budget film. I’ve seen several fantastic low-budget films. That said, it seems to me that they should have put more money into the special effects. They could have done without a couple of things and easily made the movie at the very least a little more captivating; although, I did particularly enjoy the plane scene.
Atlas Shrugged, Part II: The Strike simply was not a good film. It was very bland, boring (for the most part). I applaud the effort, but it doesn’t hold up.