The second installment in this three part series opens tomorrow, October 12, 2012, in select theaters (to find one near you, check here). With less than a month til the election, and the clear parallels with this administration’s philosophy and the “bad guys” in the movie…is there any chance this movie could impact the outcome of the election? Hopefully it will at least clarify some of the major economic issues.
Reason has a couple of videos from the world premiere of Part II and talking with the cast of the movie about its possible impact. Early reviews generally suggest this second movie is better than the first. The Slate review discusses in detail some of the casting changes that will be noticeable, especially for those of us who plan to review Part I on Netflix before tomorrow night:
For all the mockery, for all the liberal gloating about box-office numbers, the first Atlas film accidentally cast too many successful actors. Taylor Schilling, the original Dagny Taggart, went on to co-star in The Lucky One and the upcoming Ben Affleck movie about the Iran hostage crisis. “She’s a bona fide movie star now,” says Aglialoro. So she’s been replaced by Samantha Mathis, a ’90s star who’s been mounting a kind of comeback. The rest of the cast is also new. It’s libertarian cinema by way of Doctor Who.
And it completely changes the tone of the story. Schilling’s Taggart was all ice and sneers, storming into meetings without disturbing her bouffant. Mathis replaces the sneer with a pout. “Where are they?” she asks her assistant Eddie, as they ride through an emptied-out Manhattan, fueled by $40/gallon gas. “Where are the people who could make a difference?”
“I’m sitting next to one of them,” says Eddie. Taggart/Mathis holds back a sigh.
Our Rearden in Atlas I was Grant Bowler, who treated the character like a smart fed-up tech whiz beset by Asperger’s syndrome. He’s been replaced by Jason Beghe, who woke up hung-over and crammed his mouth full of gravel. His wife catches him coming home from a night with Dagny (in a very un-Rand touch, we don’t see them having sex), and he dares her to divorce him while he changes into fresh clothes.This casting change definitely works. Rearden has to deliver the big speech of Part II, when he’s called in to a star chamber for selling his metal to a friend and violating the government’s new “Fair Share” law. (In the novel, it’s the “Equalization of Opportunity” law.) On the page, Rearden’s speech is pretentious in all the best ways. “It is not your particular policy I challenge, but your moral premise,” he says. “If it were true that men could achieve their good by means of turning some men into sacrificial animals, and I were asked to immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above, and against my own—I would refuse.” Onscreen, Rearden/Beghe boils this down into a short defense of “job creators.” And it works! The Rand-curious audience wants to stand up and cheer for this hard-working, word-chewing businessman who’s just trying to pour some damn metal.
Here is the official trailer (click here to view in YouTube):
Make plans now to make opening night a success.