ATLAS SHRUGGED PART II
Fighting Government Tyranny
Release Date: October 12, 2012
Starring: Samantha Mathis, Jason Beghe,
Esai Morales, Patrick Fabian,
Kim Rhodes, Richard T. Jones,
D.B. Sweeney, Paul McCrane,
John Rubinstein, Diedrich
Bader, Robert Picardo, Ray
Wise, Arye Gross
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 112 minutes
Distributor: Atlas Distribution Company
Director: John Putch
Executive Producer: William A. Dunn
Producer: Harmon Kaslow, John Aglialoro,
Writer: Duke Sandefur, Brian Patrick
O’Toole, Duncan Scott
Address Comments To:Harmon Kaslow
56 North Haddon Avenue, 3rd Floor
Haddonfield, NJ 08033
Phone: (310) 826-5000
PART II opens with railroad magnate Dagny Taggart piloting a jet as she tries to follow another jet plane. As the jet she’s chasing disappears into some kind of cloaking field, she asks, “Who is John Galt?” as she plows her own jet into the strange field.
Cut to several months back. Gas prices have climbed to $42 per gallon, so trains are now the cheapest, most favored mode of transportation.
The current American government is putting renewed pressure on business to follow its new “fair share” law. They want to buy steal from Dagny’s lover Henry Rearden, but Henry would rather sell it to a long time business partner, who owns a coal company. The fair share law, however, says Henry can’t do that without the government’s okay. He sells the steel to his friend anyway, and the government tyrants decide to prosecute both men. The mysterious John Galt convinces the other guy to disappear like many other geniuses have done. So, Henry is left to defend himself before the Unification Court. The judges say Henry has a duty to serve “the common good,” but Henry says his inventions and work are worth something and can only be sold to those people and businesses to whom he wants to sell them, not according to government fiat.
Meanwhile, Dagny convinces an engineer to help her get a static electricity motor running. She thinks the motor can solve the country’s tremendous energy problems.
Will Dagny and Henry evade the government’s growing tyranny? What is John Galt’s next move? Watch PART II of ATLAS SHRUGGED and find out!
ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART II still suffers from being a mystery. Mysteries don’t really play well in the movies, unless you have lots of action and jeopardy to hold the viewer’s attention. PART II, however, starts off with an action scene. Also, even when that’s over, the pacing is tight and the characters and dramatic jeopardy compelling enough to keep viewers interested. There’s also plenty of conflict and tension between the protagonists and the government tyrants, plus Dagny’s obsequious, toady brother. The direction in PART II is also much better, which helps the actors give even better performances.
Despite the libertarian leanings of Ayn Rand’s novel, the movie version of the middle part of her book sticks to elemental economic issues that even conservatives can accept. Thus, the movie promotes free market capitalism and economic liberty. It also opposes tyrannical government intrusion into the economy, including the limitations on liberty that often accompany it. This gives ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART II an urgent, contemporary tone that’s astonishingly true to life, especially given all those shallow speeches about “fairness” and “equality.” MOVIEGUIDE® – and the Bible – sides with Henry Rearden on these issues.
That said, there is some strong foul language in PART II. One of the movie’s villains, an evil, arrogant liberal politician, says GD several times. Also, although the protagonist’s mercenary wife won’t give him a divorce because she enjoys his money and power, he goes ahead and has an illicit affair with the story’s female heroine. The protagonist suffers for his choice her, but he finally asks his lawyer to get the divorce, whatever it takes.
All in all, therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children regarding ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART II. Mature viewers, however, will enjoy this tale of free men and women fighting tyranny. PART II leaves the viewer wanting to see more. We can’t wait to see the final movie, which (rumor has it) may be divided into two parts.
ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART II is significantly more entertaining than the first movie. The writing, directing, acting, editing, and pacing are all much tighter. Best of all, it has an insightful defense of free market capitalism and a withering attack on big government socialism and collectivism. PART II has an urgent tone that’s astonishingly contemporary. It deals with important issues the American people are wrestling with right now. The only caution is some brief foul language and a subplot involving adultery.