Rated: PG-13 for brief language. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: OCTOBER 12, 2012 Released by: STRIKE PRODUCTIONS
Atlas Shrugged: Part II is an incompetent low quality film based on the idea that billionaires are victims of a government that plans to spread the wealth.
Opening with Dagny Taggart (Samantha Mathis) piloting a private jet over mountains following another private plane until it disappears. Not a bad beginning which also becomes the end of this Part II leading to Part III.
Tazggart along with her brother (Patrick Fabian) operate a rail line founded by their father, it has become one of the few remaining transportation systems that has continued to exist as the supply of fossil fuels becomes more and more depleted. The company with leaders like Henry Rearden (Jason Beghe) and Ken Danagger (Arye Gross) is forced to limit services to various sections of the country and plan to sell out the business which has great meaning to Dagny Taggart.
The script appears to make Henry Rearden the hero who won't comply with laws that require selling a steel product to the government. He makes a grand speech decrying the attack on the rich, privileged and famous. Gas is $42 a gallon and Dagny is aware of a new invention which draws energy from static electricity that will solve all the Worlds energy problems. It just won't work with out the inventor and just about all the smart people have disappeared.
Drawn from Any Rand which appears to be the inspiration for the film, we need to remember she revolted against the socialist revolution in Russia and supported the royal family. There were not many great choices in Russia at the turn of the 20th century when she moved to America.
Francisco d'Anconia (Esal Morales) warns against the greed and Lillian Rearden (Kim Rhodes) attempts to keep her husbands name while he fools around with Dagny Taggart. I guess having a little on the side is part of the great leader's inspiration or privilege. Richard Jones who sometimes plays the Governor in Hawaii Five-O is Dagny's body guard. Ray Wise plays the Head of State on large screens similar to the visuals in 1984.
All the twist and spin of the crisis are presented by actors who have spent nearly all of their time as TV performers. Even Paul McCrane from ER and the old Fame has a corporate role to play. Only Mathis has serious movie credits but here she lacks passion and appears bland and unattractive.
Atlas is more like propaganda than entertainment and that leaves us with an empty feeling as a the big secret man John Galt (D.B. Sweeney) reaches for Dagny's hand after a plane crash and introduces himself without showing his face as the credits run. Obviously there will be a part III and it probably will be no better.
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