'Atlas Shrugged, Part II' in theaters today

Prophetic film dovetails with endgame of Election 2012. UPDATED.

WASHINGTON, October 12, 2012 – The U.S. economy still teeters on the brink of disaster. The Middle East is veering into deadly insanity. A severely weekend Eurosphere has run out of funding to sustain its half-century long embrace of socialism.

That almost sounds like this blurb for “Atlas Shrugged: Part II:”

“With the global economy on the brink of collapse, Dagny Taggart discovers what might be the answer to a mounting energy crisis and races against the clock to prevent the motor of the World from being stopped for good.”

You go girl!

Today’s the day and tonight’s the night when fans of Ayn Rand’s prophetic epic novel will get a chance to see the second film in a planned three film series dedicated to bringing the author’s masterwork to the silver screen. Here’s one of the trailers.

Looks promising. But this second film installment of Rand’s novel came very close to never happening.

According to a piece in Fox News online, the film “has yet to be reviewed, apparently on purpose, because of the hammering Part I took from mainstream movie critics last year.” That hammering, mostly politically motivated by the universally leftist cadre of film critics, handed Part I’s producers a substantial loss and almost got the rest of the project canceled, which was certainly one objective of the critics who’ve hated Rand’s novel for decades.

Does the government have dibs on Rearden Metal?

Fox again: “…according to NewsBusters.com, the ‘traditional media weren’t the biggest fans” of the first film, “and writer Liz Thatcher anticipates even more derision for Part II.

“’It was hard to decipher which the media hated more; Rand’s objectivism or the first movie itself,’” she wrote, with perhaps just a bit of tongue-in-cheek.

Fox quotes Dan Gainor, VP of Business and Culture for Media Research Center, who adds to Thatcher’s comments by observing, “’There is almost no media interest in the movie, and that is no surprise given how the first part was treated. Hollywood wants it to go away – quickly,’” adding that the movie “is already a success just by making it to the theater. Whenever the media get around to acknowledging this film exists, they are sure to attack it.”

PR poster for the new ‘Atlas Shrugged: Part II.’

In our opinion here, Part I, for all the critics’ predictable savaging, was a credible effort that brought Rand’s characters to life, but failed in some respects to give them enough oomph. The second stanza of the epic has a new cast of characters, which is perhaps a bit disconcerting in terms of continuity. But the producer and directors also promise higher production values and a more compelling pace, so Rand fans are good to go for today’s premiere.

Clearly, it’s a given that the usual suspects in critic-land will jump on this film like they did the last one, with knives flashing and guns a-blazing. But since there were no advance showings this time, potential moviegoers won’t be scared away so easily this time around by the usual pre-written, hostile reviews geared toward destroying box office receipts—and Part III—from the get-go.

Happily, the new film arrives in the knick of time to have a potential impact on Election 2012. Stirring this pot is another reason why the moneymen behind the film don’t want it to get shot before the curtain goes up.

In a remarkable coincidence, this installment of the story finds the Federal government extending its overreach far into America’s industrial heartland, aiming to do a Hugo Chavez on capitalism by banning what lefty bureaucrats dislike while they take over what they covet. If that sounds an awful lot like the last four years of Obamanation, that’s the fault of the current administration, not the novel or the movie.

In any event, we plan to view the film as soon as we can, given our live theater and music reviewing chores here in DC. Meanwhile, DC area Rand fans can view the film at these theaters this weekend.

UPDATE: From PJ Media commentator Michael Walsh: 

This will probably change, but right now Atlas Shrugged, Part II is scoring a perfect zero on the tomato-meter. That’s right — not a single critic likes it; the audience, meanwhile, is rating it at 78 percent.

I left criticism more than a decade ago, but it still pains me to see the ongoing politicization of what should be an independent discipline, not just another arm of the DNC. I’m going to try and see the movie this weekend, but I find it impossible to believe that there’s nothing good to say about it. Instead, though, the critics seem to be dismissing it with a contemptuous lefty sneer — just like their political counterparts do when assessing conservative ideas.

Read more of Terry’s news and reviews at Curtain Up! in the Entertain Us neighborhood of the Washington Times Communities. For Terry’s investing and political insights, visit his Communities columns, The Prudent Man and Morning Market Maven, in Business.

Follow Terry on Twitter @terryp17


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Terry Ponick

Now writing on investing, politics, music, and theater for the Washington Times Communities, Terry was the longtime music and culture critic for the Washington Times (1994-2009). 

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