Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season 10 Movies Booed At Cannes 10 Movies Booed At Cannes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Watch: Trailer For Ayn Rand Adaptation 'Atlas Shrugged Part 1' Hilarious On So Many Levels

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist February 14, 2011 at 3:06AM

For the moment, let's try to leave aside the politics and philosophy of Ayn Rand -- after all, only so many words can really be expounded on a point of view that ultimately comes down to not giving a shit about your fellow human beings. There's a reason that it's taken over half a century for a film adaptation of Rand's magnum opus, "Atlas Shrugged," to reach screens; as well as being an awful sociopath (her ideal man was a convicted murderer who kidnapped, disemboweled and chopped the legs off a twelve year old girl), Rand was also a terrible writer, whose books are full of leaden prose, heavy-handed metaphor and very little drama.
32


For the moment, let's try to leave aside the politics and philosophy of Ayn Rand -- after all, only so many words can really be expounded on a point of view that ultimately comes down to not giving a shit about your fellow human beings. There's a reason that it's taken over half a century for a film adaptation of Rand's magnum opus, "Atlas Shrugged," to reach screens; as well as being an awful sociopath (her ideal man was a convicted murderer who kidnapped, disemboweled and chopped the legs off a twelve year old girl), Rand was also a terrible writer, whose books are full of leaden prose, heavy-handed metaphor and very little drama.

"Atlas Shrugged," or at least the first part of a interminable-sounding four part adaptation, finally went before cameras last summer, thanks to the imminent expiry of the rights, with "One Tree Hill" star Paul Johansson (no, us neither) at the helm, and starring relative newcomer Taylor Schilling and the boat captain from "Lost" who looks like Richard Roxburgh. A trailer hit over the weekend after premiering at The American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference; could it possibly be as bad as we predicted back at the start of the year?

You bet your ass it could. Looking for all the world like a Funny or Die parody of the novel, it's packed to the brim with terrible readings of unintentionally hilarious lines ("Why ask useless questions? How deep is the ocean? How high is the sky? Who is John Galt?"), features more shots of poorly-rendered CGI trains than the first assembly of "Unstoppable," and appears to have been shot by the DoP from a daytime soap opera.

On the plus side, this certainly seems to have the potential to replace "The Room" as an endlessly quotable disaster, destined to play midnight movies to drunken hecklers for years to come -- we can certainly see "They are not getting my metal!" becoming a meme in years to come. On the down side, it also looks really fucking boring.

Still, congrats to Johansson & co for seemingly delivering the movie that Rand has always deserved. That's not a compliment. Matthew Marsden ("Rambo"), Graham Beckel ("Battlestar Galactica"), Edi Gathegi ("Twilight"), Jsu Garcia ("Che"), Michael Lerner ("Barton Fink") and Patrick Fischler ("Mad Men"), all of whom were presumably about to have their homes repossessed when the gig came along, co-star. If you're an Objectivist, a hardcore "One Tree Hill" fan, Glenn Beck, or a masochist, you'll be able to see the finished product soon: the picture's being self-distributed by The Strike Productions from April 15th, timed, predictably, to coincide with Tax Day.

This article is related to: Films, Atlas Shrugged: Part I


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates