Monday, April 22, 2013

At the Movies: Atlas 2




Atlas Shrugged, Part II. Calabasas, CA: Strike Productions, Inc., 2012. Special Edition 2-disc DVD set.  (N) 

The mammoth masterpiece of Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, first hit theatres in 2011. 

Our review of the Part I of the intended movie trilogy ( noted differences between Rand's Objectivism and both Christianity and modern Conservatism. 

Rand did not claim to be a Conservative or a Christian, but there are ideas in Atlas Shrugged, Part II (2012) worthy of the attention of Christians and political and economic Conservatives.

The affair of Taggart and Reardon is largely in the background, but is a primary means of blackmail by the statist government in the film. The film is sometimes pithy and often preachy.We do well to heed the diagnosis and warning of Atlas Shrugged: socialism, the welfare state, and statism are contrary to the idea that is America. 

This is a message for our day and our nation. In fact, it may help us see the ridiculous of the 99%/1% narrative of recent years. If we are honest, ALL Americans are part of the global 1% AND the 1% wealthiest of all human history.

Too often selfishness is allowed to pass for self-reliance. May I offer a different solution? The doctrine of vocation! Christ came to to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. We cannot accomplish our own salvation, nor the salvation of others, but we are given to serve our neighbor in a Christlike way. That is a vocational responsibility Christians dare not shrug off.

Viewers seeing Part I and Part II in a movie marathon may have some disorientation due to changes in cast and direction.

  • Paul Johansson directed I. John Putch directed Part II.
  • Dagny Taggart was played by Taylor Schilling (I) and now Samantha Mathis (II)
  • Henry Reardon was portrayed by Grant Bowler (I) before Jason Beghe (II)

In some ways, the largely different principal cast is forgivable, because it helped Part II stand on its own merits as a story both independent of a yet connected to Part I.  II stands on its own. Those who see both I and II willl benefit more.

The dystopian near-future world of Part II seemed more convincing than that Part I, even given a limited budget and modest special effects. 

This reviewer is thankful for the personal attention given him by those behind the film trilogy in graciously providing this second screener. 

Galt's monologue will be a particular challenge to the filmmakers as they begin work on Part III. Perhaps the brief DVD Special Feature on the Part II disc is a modest preview. After watching Part II, I believe Part III deserves to be made. 

Principal filming of Part III will begin this fall and is slated for the silver screen before the 2014 midterm elections. For more information, visit

The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Yellowstone Circuit Visitor (LCMS Wyoming District), a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.  

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