It's tempting to snipe that the argument of Atlas Shrugged Part II-- that the genius of an unregulated free market results in the greatest of all greater goods-- is somewhat undone by the chintziness of Atlas Shrugged Part II, because, seriously, if this is the best promotion of itself that the free market can manage, it really would benefit from the help of a Ministry of Culture. The story is not quite updated from Ayn Rand's deeply last-century novel. It imagines that the "best and brightest" in the public sphere have vanished, refusing to toil on behalf of a thieving government and a shiftless public. It’s like if the elves were leaving Middle Earth just to stick it to those lazy hobbits. In this post-greatness world, the movie follows three major companies’ efforts to survive a government that seizes the profits and products of industry. Such meddling, we’re told, interferes with the "perfect" and "natural" balance of mutual self-interest, a self-interest that makes the rich rich but also turns "the motor of the world" -- and employs millions. In brisk, undistinguished scenes in offices and hotel rooms, we get the bones of an Econ 101 essay question: The copper mine needs steel. The steel company needs railroads. The railroad needs steel. What happens when government goes all eminent domain on the steel? Only the worst train crash in American history! Literally. An actual train. Nothing in Atlas Shrugged makes much sense, including the threat that working Americans would suffer greatly if our billionaires were to "go Galt"-- if you’ve driven through the rust belt in the past 30 years, you know that in the ways that matter they already have.
John PutchJason Beghe, Samantha Mathis, Esai Morales, Patrick Fabian, Kim Rhodes, Richard T. Jones, D.B. Sweeney, Paul McCrane, John RubinsteinDuke Sandefur, Brian Patrick O'TooleJohn Aglialoro, Jeff Freilich, Harmon KaslowAtlas Distribution