REVIEW: Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?
by Sean Burns
Millionaire CEO and poker champ John Agliaro’s 20-year struggle to bring Ayn Rand’s doorstop-sized Objectivist Bible to the big screen came to an unceremonious end this past weekend, with the side-splitting third and final installment raking in a gasp-inducing $1,906 per theatre. (Breaking it down for the current average ticket price of $8.33, with most cinemas running a film anywhere between 12 and 15 times over a 3-day period, this works out to a charitable estimate of fewer than 20 patrons attending any given show.) So I guess the Free Market has spoken?
For the blessedly uninitiated, Rand’s 1,168-page novel is the favorite book of many young sociopaths you meet in business schools. Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged posits a hysterically overwrought nightmare dystopia in which government regulation has crippled the economy. Shadowy politicians conspire with corrupt union leaders to bleed corporations of their precious profits, with “parasites,” “looters,” and “moochers” living off the hard-earned wealth of the noble 1%. In this time of crisis, America’s captains of industry have had it up to here with poisonous concepts like “charity” and “altruism.” Inspired by a mysterious figure named John Galt, they sabotage their companies, trashing the country’s infrastructure before disappearing altogether. Basically, it’s all about a bunch of rich crybabies who don’t want to share their toys so they break them and go home.
My dear friend, the late, great libertarian talk show host David Brudnoy used to describe Rand as “an unfortunate phase most people outgrow.” But Agliaro certainly hasn’t, throwing mountains of bad money after good with his increasingly unprofitable (and increasingly hilarious) adaptations of Little Objectivist Aynnie’s magnum opus. Burning with messianic zeal, the movies have gone through three directors and three sets of actors on the long road to this riotous finale.
Click here for Sean’s full negative review