1 1/2 Stars
Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 is the first part of what is perhaps the dullest plot ever to be filmed. Had this been a true story I could have forgiven the stuffy and boring dialogue, but this uninspired tale takes far too long to arrive at an ending that is so out of place, it almost makes no sense at all. The mystery, relying heavily on the watch phrase “Who is John Galt?”, is somewhat intriguing, but as it pans out in the cliff-hanger ending not nearly enough is revealed or explained. Paul Johansson’s direction does at times add some excitement to mundane proceedings, but the pace of the film weighs it down too much. The only saving grace here is Elia Cmiral’s superb cinematography. He paints frames with stark contrast yet includes vibrant and vivid colors.
This could have been collapsed into a twenty minute piece, and probably would have been better had the filmmakers decided to make the book into only one movie. In a time when Occupy this and that is taking over the country why would someone make a film featuring the one percent as heroes? There’s no sense that these characters really care about the economy of the US, simply that they want their businesses to thrive. Their disconnect from the rest of the ninety-nine percent is made ever more evident as they attend parties for the wealthy and seem to have an abundance of time on their hands. If not simply weighing down the chairs behind their desks or hanging around the general vicinity where hard labor is happening, it’s never very clear what actual work they do.
With big set pieces being workers laying railroad track and a very unrealistic 250 mph train ride I recommend skipping this dry and tedious trip through a future world of economic turmoil. Atlas Shrugged, and so did I.
Director: Paul Johansson
Stars: Taylor Schilling, Grant Bowler