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Atlas Shrugged part 1, drops the ball

Ayn Rand adaptation soapy, unlikeable


Everything about this screen adaptation of Ayn Rand’s novel feels like daytime television: from the heavy-handed dialogue to the sluggish pace (setting itself up for part II) ---no wonder, it’s the first feature TV soap actor Paul Johansson has directed. In a dystopian 2016 US, unrest in the Middle East means peak oil, and railroads become the main transportation. Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling) is a money-hungry businesswoman who wants to build a railway with Henry Reardon’s (Grant Bowler) controversial new steel. Her selfishness embodies Rand’s objectivist philosophy; as Dagny says, “what’s up with these stupid altruistic urges.” With too many details presented in a utilitarian way, the movie feels like a lousy attempt at propaganda. In a world where the good guys are all jerks, it’s hard to sympathize with anyone. Some books just don’t need to be movies.

Related Film

Atlas Shrugged: Part 1

Official Site:

Director: Paul Johansson

Writer: Ayn Rand

Producer: Harmon Kaslow

Cast: Taylor Schilling, Edi Gathegi, Paul Johansson, Michael O'Keefe, Matthew Marsden, Michael Lerner and Geoff Pierson

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