The Reel Deal


A Reel Deal Film Review

Film Insight by Tyler Malone

April 2011

Reel Rating: 0 out of 5


I will admit that I do not share any political stripe with either Ayn Rand or the filmmakers of this absolute piece of crap, but that is not the reason I think this movie is terrible. There have been plenty of movies that have a philosophy or political persuasion that haven’t jived with my own that I still find to be phenomenal. What is sad about this film though is it doesn’t even do the source material justice. I am not a big fan of Ayn Rand’s novel, but it deserves better than this made-for-TV-quality junk. The dialogue is atrocious and the delivery of the lines is wooden (which only accentuates said terrible dialogue).

The irony of course is that Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism (which can be summed up as: exceptional people drive society and so there should be no government that curtails the progress of the exceptional to help the downtrodden) would throw this junk in the garbage because it is about as far from exceptional as you can get.

Republicans often claim that their people and views are rarely shown in Hollywood. Clint Eastwood finds it easy to be accepted and to make the movies he wants, so does Mel Gibson even after all the crazy crap he’s pulled, but I guess that’s besides the point. I will concede that Republicans and right wing ideas are underrepresented in the film industry, BUT–and here’s the big BUT–it is probably because when they do make a film like this, they forget to try and make great art and only try to make great propaganda. Michael Moore, who happens to be a little closer to my political persuasion than Ayn Rand, creates films as propagandized as this one, but the difference is that he has an artist’s eye and an entertainer’s sensibilities. His films may be propaganda, but they are also often great art and rip-roaring entertainment.

There was absolutely nothing entertaining or artistic about this film. It felt like a film-by-numbers. Unexceptional people making an unexceptional product–the kind of thing Ayn Rand would spit upon. I was hoping, when I went to see this film, that I could discuss the politics and I had hoped the film’s quality would be good enough that I wouldn’t have to harp on that. There is no point to really dig into the politics now, the film is so awful that the only people that would take it seriously aren’t looking for art or even entertainment, but rather a glass of Kool-Aid to tide them over in the hours when they’re not watching Fox News.

Oh and by the way, to all you teabaggers out there who love Ayn Rand, you do know that she would not consider you one of the exceptional people who John Galt asks to join him, right? She absolutely hated religious people, and thought that faith was the opposite of reason. She was also pro-choice. But alas, why argue the point? After watching crap like this, all I can do is shrug.

Sorry Ayn Rand, I am not your biggest fan, but you deserve better. (Oh wait, according to your own philosophy, I shouldn’t feel sorry for others, including you, and I should instead be selfish: SO YAY! AYN RAND’S FOLLOWERS MADE HER LOOK EVEN WORSE THAN SHE ALREADY IS!)

Atlas Shrugged: Part I is a film directed by Paul Johansson, and written by John AGlialoro and Brian Patrick O’Toole, based on the novel by Ayn Rand. It stars Taylor Schilling and Grant Bowler. Written by John Aglialoro and Brian Patrick O’Toole. A powerful railroad executive, Dagny Taggart, struggles to keep her business alive while society is crumbling around her.

Written by Tyler Malone

Image Courtesy of Rocky Mountain Pictures

Design by Jillian Mercado

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