Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Atlas Shrugged: Part 1"

Let me make something perfectly clear: I am no fan of Ayn Rand's objectivism philosophy. If I've ever liked an Ayn Rand novel (and I will admit that I actually really do like Anthem for one thing), it's not because of her philosophy, but because I can get an engaging story out of it. Frankly, looking at objectivism, I don't see what everyone is getting so riled up about. It's basically Ayn Rand reinventing a wheel that Adam Smith had already implied was created with his stuff detailing pure capitalism.

So when I tell you that today's movie is the first movie I have ever walked out of in my life, know that the reason why I walked out has absolutely nothing to do with objectivist philosophy, or the fact that it's a darling of the always-insane, bovinistic, and seminally idiotic Tea Party movement...

Atlas Shrugged: Part 1

America is on the verge of economic collapse, with the government imposing more and more regulations left and right. While this is going down, Dagna Taggart is trying to resurrect her family's railroad line, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that the company will stay afloat.


Yes, that is the summary. Why so short, you ask?

Because I frankly couldn't be brought to care at all about anything here. At all.

I... don't know where to start. Actually, no I do. If you're going to have a socio-political message in your movie (and given that this is an Ayn Rand adaptation, it's almost unavoidable that it's going to have some form of socio-political message), you have to bring people on your side, right? So how do you do that? You make characters that are engaging and likeable, and you make them overcome obstacles that are put in place by everyone else.

I can't be brought about to care about any of these characters, and I am almost completely certain it is the fault of the film-makers who couldn't make what essentially amounts to Donald Trump's work day interesting in any way. Near on everyone is an unlikeable scoundrel in the movie, and while I can get why you would do that with the bad guys, you do it to the people we're supposed to be rooting for too. So basically, it's an hour and a half of unlikeable people having annoying conversations about stuff. It wouldn't be so bad, either, if we had good actors speaking about this. But the actors they have for this movie are unspeakably bad. Not one of these people makes anything beyond the same one or two facial expressions, and their boring line delivery means we can't be bothered to care about how what they're saying is important to the plot.

It doesn't help that almost nothing the characters say goes beyond 'I'm doing this for money, [insert more business jargon here], and you will not stop me/I will stop you/I cannot help you'. I'm sure there's a way to make that kind of dialogue interesting, but this movie could not find that way at all. And don't get me wrong, things did happen in this movie. But the problem was that things wouldn't stop happening, and plot developments kept on whizzing by with about the same amount of importance placed on each development. This cheapened the more significant plot developments greatly, and it ultimately rendered every event that occurs in this movie pointless.

I have heard it said that Atlas Shrugged is considered an unfilmable book. Perhaps this movie shows exactly why it is unfilmable: if I were Ayn Rand, I would be rolling in my grave at the lack of effort put into this movie. This whole movie came off to me as the worst kind of bad: the worst kind of bad that says that this movie was rushed to be released with absolutely no effort put into it by the actors, and no effort put to do the book justice. I personally haven't read the novel, but in this I will place the blame squarely on the film makers.


Fuck this movie.

And with this, you have the first movie I've ever walked out of.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.

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