Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1
Taylor Schilling, Grant Bowler, Matthew Marsden, Ed Gathegi, Jsu Garcia, Graham Beckel, Jon Polito, Patrick Fischler, Rebecca Wisocky and Michael Lerner

Rated: PG-13  
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: April 15, 2011 Released by: Rocky Mountain Pictures

A low-budgeted adaptation of the first ten chapters of a long Ayn Rand 1957 novel doesn't do much justice to the esteemed romance novelist and philosopher centering on a rapidly sliding United States in 2016. Hopefully, reality won't come to close to the setting of Rand's intriguing mega-fable.
Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 should have been less amateurish and more archly prescient, as well as catching into more narcissism and naughtiness. The filmmaking is amateurish as this underproduced venture around its devotion to free-market capitalism is high-minded enervating episodic fare.
This didactic tale revolves around a nation losing its grip with lobbyists more powerful than ever, as well as the proliferation of homelessness, gas prices almost ten times what it is now; a broad exponential decay with oil spills prevalent off of its coastlines.
The main executive distaff character is Dagny Taggart, a blonde tigress of a looker played by Taylor Schilling. Dagny is trying to get her derailed company, Taggart Transcontinental (its adage is "Ocean To Ocean"), (no pun intended) back on track.

The storyline by James V. Hart ("Bram Stoker's Dracula) sees Dagny favoring Philadelphia Center City Factory's Hank Rearden (Grant Bowler) to use a cutting-edge lighter steel retrofitted for her high-speed rail lines. It's all to help an oil baron for a needed industrial renaissance as "men of the mind" are vanishing. The key question behind the latter is "Who Is John Galt?" an enigmatic figure supposedly responsible for the crumbling of society.
This uninspired, insipid Atlas will have many (even those into and liking its politics) shrugging or perhaps eyeing a theatre auditorium's ceiling panels. There are line readings that just aren't delivered with much conviction even if they sound like they have much though to them. What is long-winded and likely running on fumes obviously is hectoring an imperious governmental body, but is nothing remotely irresistible that won't make it too hopeful for the next two installments to be rolling into your cineplex anytime soon.

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