The Atlas Shrugged movie review numbers are fairly rotten so far. The movie review collection on Rotten Tomatoes isn’t large, yet Atlas Shrugged still has one of the lowest ratings possible on the site. Only one critics has ruled it to be fresh, while 19 have declared it rotten, for an average rating of 5 percent. After all the controversy around Ayn Rand’s book, and the decades it took to get it into movie form, this serves as a rather anticlimactic final act.
Rand’s novel first provoked and angered readers in 1957, and became a greater symbol for conservatives and libertarians over the decades. Those who regularly attack “liberal Hollywood” may believe that the book is too anti-liberal, and anti-socialist, for big studios to touch, although they have tried various times.
The closest they came might have been in a few years ago, when Angelina Jolie was rumored to be on board, with Braveheart writer Randall Wallace as the writer. In 2007, House of Sand and Fog director Vadim Perelman was reportedly attached at the helm, yet ultimately, all these rumors didn’t pan out.
The problem hasn’t been with politics, but with the book’s length, as the 1,100 page novel can’t be boiled down to a two, or even three, hour movie. Studios couldn’t find a way around it, although stars like Jolie, Charlie Theron and Julia Roberts were rumored to be interested in it. But finally, the task was taken on by little known Rocky Mountain Pictures, which decided to turn the entire novel into a trilogy.
But the review results for the movie suggest that Atlas Shrugged isn’t even worth one film, much less three – at least with this cast and crew. The only critics to give a thumbs up only gave it 2 ½ stars, from the conservative New York Post.
However, libertarians and other right-wingers flocked to 300 theaters yesterday, to see it for themselves. If even they turn out to hate it, then it doesn’t bode well for the film, or for Rocky Mountain to finance the next two sequels. Yet although not much about the actual picture may have worked, the timing might still be on its side.
The release date fell right before Tax Day, which is not the favorite day of Rand followers, Tea Party members or others in the film’s target audience. Given how they believe taxes and government intervention are a greater threat than ever – especially with President Obama in office – this would seem to be the ideal time for Rand’s message to get through in theaters.
If people do embrace the Atlas Shrugged movie, it will be in spite of nearly every review. If they don’t, then decades of obstacles and delays will be for nothing, as John Galt might as well have stayed hidden after all.
Rotten Tomatoes- “Atlas Shrugged Part I”
Rope of Silicon- “Path to Oblivion: Is a Studio Version of Atlas Shrugged Now Entirely Unlikely?”
The Independent- “Atlas Shrugged – and The Tea Party poured in to watch”
Atlas Shrugged Movie- “Theaters & Tickets”