Atlas Shrugged! The Movie! opened yesterday. I considered seeing it, because I am a scientist, and certain phenomena ought to be studied. (Some people make a nice living investigating ringworms, you know.) And also I figured it just might be good for a laugh.
Unfortunately (or else, not) it isn’t playing anywhere within 200 miles of me. I live in Rural Heartland America, in the sense that I can see cows from my window. I’d have to drive about three hours to see the piece of crap, sit down and watch it, and then drive three hours back, which would take me, about… let’s see… (rapidly calculates, including running time of film, actual as well as perceived)… nine years. And while I would drive anywhere for yuks, I won’t do that.
For, as my dear friend Fez-Boy has informed us, the reviews of this Supertrain! Wreck! concur that it’s silly, boring, and awful. But there’s a nice little insight into the “mind” (for want of a better term) of the sort of person, oh pardon I mean Heroic Individual, who totally digs the Randian vibe at Rotten Tomatoes. The critics panned it with a dreadful 5%, but 85% of the Audience Reactions are positive. This Audience Reaction is typical:
Ignore reviews, including mine. Rand’s philosophy has many enemies and they will all bash this movie, even if it was the next Gone With the Wind (which it was not, but was definitely worth seeing).
Which is all sorts of revealing. Gone with the Wind of course is a great American film because it tells a great American fairytale. As a film, GwtW is of course fantastically entertaining. As a reflection of reality, it is nasty and pernicious.
I agree with Roy that Atlas Shrugged certainly could have been made into a watchable film. Its source material is asinine, but then so is the source material for most epics, verse or cinematic. That a story is asinine is no object to it being, well, fun.
But I doubt that a true believer in the Randian ideal could ever have made a version of Atlas Shrugs that wasn’t horrendous. To do so would after all require the ability to step outside the insular world that is the Randian ideal, and accept that, well, there are other realities.
Which is a trivial point. More seriously, idiots like, say, Paul Ryan, believe the fairytale, and are desperately trying to make it true.
Ever get the sense you’re living in a crap movie? You are.