Before any of you begin, I want to say a few things. For one, my political views (Libertarian) do partially coincide with Rand's, which may be the one thing that kept me from buying a plane ticket to Hollywood and bludgeoning the director to death.
Secondly, I have read the book multiple times and I have seen the flaws, as well as the good bits. So don't just piss on me by saying "Rand was fucking stupid, so therefore the movie was doomed to suck you jackass!" because I'll admit right now that Rand is far from perfect, and I didn't expect the movie to be perfect either. But the level of suck that it managed just completely boggled my mind.
As far as plot goes, the movie remains almost completely faithful to the novel. Which is one of the few things that the writers and director actually managed to not bum-fuck.
Atlas Shrugged presents a near-dystopic United States, where the leading industries are either crippled by a Marxist government eliminating the profit motive, or whoring themselves out to said Marxist government for state benefits. In this Capitalist's nightmare, a young woman named Dagny Taggart is trying to keep her family's railroad empire afloat despite the horrible economic condition, and her socialist brother's incompetency.
To help her railroad she strikes a deal with Hank Rearden, a fellow industrialist and steel baron who has recently developed a new superstrong alloy that he has dubbed "Rearden Metal". Dagny tells him that if he allows her to use the alloy to replace the aging steel rails of her Colorado rail line, it will prove that his metal is the best shit ever and that the Marxist government is wrong.
Meanwhile, the government forces the only competing rail line in Colorado out of business, forcing a skeptical oil man named Ellis Wyatt to rely on Tagart to transport his petroleum. It's also here we meet Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastian d'Anconia, an Argentenian copper industrialist and super-genius (also a former teenage lover of Dagny) turned hedonistic playboy who is now destroying his comapny with bad investments (in reality he's doing this on purpose so the socialist government can't get any of his resources when they nationalise his company, but that's not explained in the movie.) And we also meet Hank's gold digging bitch of a wife, but she's not important.
Anyways, Hank and Dagny build the line with his metal and they show everyone how awesome it is. Ellis gets a massive boner for the rail line and tells them that he's sorry and that he now has a way to solve the gas crisis.
That night Dagny and Hank begin an affair because Hank is tired of his shrewish wife, and Dagny wants his thick, veiny, capitalist dick.
The next morning the two set off to Wisconsin pursuing the urban legend of a motor that would change the world if it was completed. They do indeed find the broken motor, and realise some super genius (John Galt who is only seen in shadow during the film) had designed it to run off static electricity in the air.
They head back and hear that Ellis Wyatt has suddenly vanished (along with many other industrialists) which pisses Dagny off. She then has a big breakdown when she finds that Ellis has burned his oil fields to prevent the government from taking them, and has left a message saying he's "on strike".
That is how the fucking movie ends, on that anti climatic little note that concludes the biggest blunder since Battlefield Earth.
Now personally, I was angered by this film. Not just dissapointed, I was driven to anger by the director's inability to produce a half decent rendition of Ayn Rand's novel.
The acting was stilited and robotic to say the least. With most of the characters speaking as if they learned english from a textbook on economics written in the 1920's. Only Taylor Schilling (Dagny taggart) gave a decent performance, and I am sad that her reputation may be given a nasty stain due to this shitty film.
The camera man apparently had some sort of fetish for the Rocky Mountians, as there are a lot of pointless panaoramas of the damn things that seem to have taken precedence over actually getting decent camera angles in the dialogue scenes.
And while the plot is faithful to the novel, the writers did nothing to make it more appealing to anyone who has not read the book. If anything they only made it more preachy and self-righteous than Rand had originally written.
And many of you may never see this movie, which is definately a good thing. The film itself was only shown in 300 theaters in America, which I guess saved it from being an international failure.
All in all Atlas Shrugged is a dry, dissappointing take on Rand's novel.
My score: 1.5/10