My husband and I had a rare Saturday night date. I say rare because our nights out have become unusual due to our fiscal downturn, so I was really looking forward to seeing Atlas Shrugged Part II. I was one of the few people who thought the first part was good. I even thought that the train scene of Dagny tranversing the magnificance of the USA was excellent, so I figured with a bigger budget and more publicity we had a winner. I was wrong.
First of all, there were only nine people at a 7:15 Saturday showing. That was my first disappointment. The only underlying excitement was realizing that we could have any seat in the whole theatre. That was really the best part of the evening. The rest was disappointing.
The reason, I believe, the movie failed is that there was no character development. It was made very clear to the audience that everything was falling apart in our country but we didn’t understand why we should care. Remember, we are inundated with post apocalyptic movies and TV shows daily, so a scene with a sign that gas is selling for $47.00 isn’t too moving.
A good movie develops both plot and character. The problem was that it didn’t really do either. Part of the problem could be the way the story was broken into parts. This part of the story focused on the industrialists, creators, and experts disappearing. Although the character of Hank Reardon was portrayed well, it would be quite confusing for anyone not familiar with the story to understand his relationships with Dagny and his insufferable wife. For me, whose first love was Howard Roark, the hero from Rand’s The Fountainhead, not to care what happened to any of the characters was the real disappointment.