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April 16, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Movie

Atlas Shrugged Movie Part I

Not worth seeing.

When a book is made into a movie, we expect the movie to be a mere "Cliff Notes" version of the book, but this movie was a Cliff Notes version of a Cliff Notes version of a Cliff Notes version of the book. It was so condensed and so watered down that any fan of the book would be disappointed, and anyone who hadn't read the book wouldn't have even the vaguest clue what was going on. The only category left are those who have read the book but aren't really fans, and they wouldn't enjoy it anyway. It's a story which relies very, very heavily on character development, yet this super-condensed version of the story gave the characters literally no development whatsoever; none, nada, zip, zero, zilch, not a single one of them.

When I saw The Lord of the Rings, I thought, "Wow, they really could do Atlas Shrugged justice in a movie. Given a Jackson caliber director, a massive budget, and 10 hours of screen time, it could really work!" But what did they do? They used a no-name director, almost no budget whatsoever, and appear to be making the whole book into about 5 hours of film, the total opposite of what they should have done. I was so bored at one point that I found myself considering walking out.

I want to call it total crap, but I imagine that the director might defend his movie by saying that he did an excellent job with what he had to work with. That might be true. It's like if you go to see your 6 year old kid in a school play: you don't expect the play to be the most magnificent play that you've ever seen, in fact you won't expect much out of it at all. If anyone criticized it, you'd probably say, "What did you expect? It's a bunch of 6 year olds!" So maybe the director has a defense, but it's not a good one. If that's the best they had to work with, they should not have done it.

The really only good thing about it was the performance of the actor who played Hank Reardon. Everyone else gets a resounding: "Meh."

Actually, the best thing about it, though, now that I'm thinking about it, is the fact that so few people will ever see it, given that it has so little promotion because its a low budget indie film.

What a waste.

I give 30% odds on Part II ever being made. No one is going to be excited about this film.

My rating: 1 in 10.

Posted by Jeff at April 16, 2011 12:01 PM

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