Atlas Shrugged: Part One, an adaptation of the first third of Ayn Rand's infamous 1957 novel in theaters today, was made under some unlikely pressure: the holder of the rights to the book, Cybex International CEO John Aglialoro, had to rush the production so as to not forfeit his ownership. The end result, say the movie critics chiming in today, is understandably amateurish. (It's taking a beating, with a Tomatometer score of 8%). But what bits did they find most ridiculous?
"This being a simplistic tale of visionary capitalists and the weaklings who get in their way, of course the train is safe. It barrels though scenic Oregon at 250 miles per hour. Triumphant, Taggart and the married Reardon celebrate with champagne and soft-core sex. -Boston Globe
"With the notable exception of Jon Polito, the acting is strictly from Stepford. Admittedly, lines such as "I'm cultivating a society that honors individual achievement" and "Businesses die because people are paid by need, not ability" don't exactly roll off the tongue." -Philadelphia Inquirer
"The bullet-train theme is somewhat ironic. A roaring locomotive is a dynamic image of American industrial power, but even in 1957 — when the book was published — the future of railroading was in Europe and Asia. And the right-of-center types who revere Rand tend to dismiss public funding for high-speed rail." -Washington Post
"The characters here actually read newspapers."-HR
"There is also a love scene, which is shown not merely from the waist up but from the ears up. The man keeps his shirt on. This may be disappointing for libertarians, who I believe enjoy rumpy-pumpy as much as anyone."-Chicago Sun-Times