‘Atlas Shrugged 2’ Gives Media Another Chance to Demonize Rand
Traditional media weren’t the biggest fans of the movie “Atlas Shrugged: Part I” when it was released in April 2011. With “Atlas Shrugged Part II: The Strike” set to hit theaters on Oct. 12, it’ll be hard to top the derision of the last movie. Most reviews of the first film were short and to the point – this movie was terrible because conservatives, more specifically the Tea Party, will like it.
Huffington Post claimed that “Atlas Shrugged” brought forth “revolutionary” ideas that “helping people is dumb, poor people are goblin leeches, corporations are always right.” And that was just in the opening paragraph of their rather lengthy attack. Rolling Stone hoped that the other two movies would be “aborted.” The New Yorker argued that the movie portrayed Rand’s “simplistic nostrums” in “smug self-satisfaction.”
This was appropriate, given the left’s hatred of Rand. On Aug. 23, 2012, economist Paul Krugman published an entire hit piece on Rand titled “Galt, Gold, and God” in The New York Times. “For those who somehow missed it when growing up, ‘Atlas Shrugged’ is a fantasy in which the world’s productive people — the ‘job creators,’ if you like — withdraw their services from an ungrateful society. … Most boys eventually outgrow it. Some, however, remain devotees for life,” he wrote.
It was hard to decipher which the media hated more; Rand’s objectivism or the first movie itself. Film critic Richard Brody insulted both in his short review for The New Yorker. “This comically tasteless and flavorless adaptation of Ayn Rand’s bombastic magnum opus delivers her simplistic nostrums with smug self-satisfaction.”
Brody’s comments were nothing compared to the HuffPo hit piece published the same day as “Atlas 1” hit theaters.Jonathan Kim, movie critic for lefty outlets Pacific Radio, and The Young Turks, didn’t miss an opportunity to slam conservatives, the Tea Party, and Rand all at once. “Is this really what conservatives have based their ideology on?” he asked. “’Atlas Shrugged, Part 1’ is supposed to be the first of a trilogy, but I'll be surprised if the remaining two sequels are ever made. Which I suppose will be an apt statement on conservatism, Ayn Rand, and the marketplace of ideas.”
Not surprisingly, The New York Times was no fan of “Atlas 1” either. Film critic Carino Chocano published a review on April 29, 2011, — a full two weeks after the movie’s original release date — that mocked the novel and called out the movie for its “boring hilarity.” Chocano then criticized the “cinematic adaptation, which shifts the action to 2016 and presents Rand’s ham-fisted fable of laissez-faire capitalism as something C-Span might make if it ever set out to create a futuristic, proto-libertarian nighttime soap. In the 1980s.”
Rolling Stone didn’t miss an opportunity to bash on the Tea Party, either. Peter Travers published a short review on April 15 where he questioned the intelligence of the producers. “Who's the idiot responsible for this fiasco? You can't blame the Tea Party, an organization of 9 million that the film's producers are exploiting to get butts into seats. There's an object lesson in objectivism for you,” he wrote.
Atlas Shrugged Part II: The Strike
Conservatives and movie goers who are curious about what the media hype is all about can check out “Atlas Shrugged Part II” for themselves on Oct. 12. At a premiere party that the Business and Media Institute was able to attend on Oct. 2, the enthusiasm for this movie as well as Rand’s principles was all but hidden.
Director John Putch stated at the premiere that he didn’t expect much positive media for the movie this time around, either. So far, this movie has received little attention at all. With an election just a month away, it is likely the media will strike full force at this movie, similar to their coverage of other conservative movies coming out this year, like they did against “2016: Obama’s America” earlier this year.