Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike Blu-ray Review
When ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART ONE (click the title to read our review) was released almost two years ago, I was dubious. Based on the quality of the production and the lukewarm public and critical response I never considered they would actually try to make the 2nd part of this intended trilogy. But there are apparently some people who feel so strongly about this heavy-handed film (and its source material) that they won’t let it die.
ATLAS SHRUGGED II: THE STRIKE picks up where we left off from Part One but with an entirely new cast and new group of filmmakers at the helm (except for the producing team). Supposedly Rand’s estate was not happy with the direction in which the trilogy was headed and requested some major changes if they were going to move forward. This would have been a good decision if they had taken the time to ratchet up the screenwriting (in the filmmakers defense, they did hire a new screenwriter, but nothing really changed for the positive).
At the opening of ATLAS SHRUGGED II: THE STRIKE we’re reminded of what happened in the first film through a few cheesy faux-news reels. In ‘not-too-distant-future-USA’ the economy has almost entirely failed and the government’s attempts to socialize everything have expanded the chasm between the wealthy and the impoverished. Innovators and world-changers continue to disappear, leaving behind the cryptic message “Who is John Galt?” and one family, the Taggerts, continue to try to run the country’s last mode of transportation – a failing railroad.
The movie plays a bit like a “Who’s Who” of B-list movie and former A-list television talent. More like a made-for-TV mini-series, ATLAS SHRUGGED II: THE STRIKE constantly hints at greater issues that never emerge. The movie espouses Rand’s philosophy but does so in a way that may not make sense to those not familiar with her written works. Even the acting, retooled from the ground up, feels forced. There are, thankfully, a few nicely played roles (I’m looking at you, Richard T. Jones and Jason Beghe), but in general they fall flat. The recasting creates another issue for those who saw the first film – we are generally left to figure out who did what in the previous film without much else to connect us.
I know I didn’t say much about the plot… truth be told there just isn’t much of a plot here to talk about. ATLAS SHRUGGED II: THE STRIKE believes itself a daring and exciting thriller but fails on all accounts and instead is primarily a bore. Unless you have a deep love of Rand and the literature that sparked this franchise, this movie probably isn’t for you.
Video: (1080p, 2.35:1 Widescreen) ATLAS SHRUGGED II: THE STRIKE features video that is clear and sharp, though some of the effects are a little campy.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The sound is presented nicely, mixed well and the score is probably the strongest thing about ATLAS SHRUGGED II: THE STRIKE.
Behind the Scenes of ATLAS SHRUGGED II: THE STRIKE (08:48) A nearly nine minute in-depth look at the primary ‘action’ scene in ATLAS SHRUGGED II: THE STROKE, this feature covers all aspects of filming this short finished sequence.
Sean Hannity Extended Segment (03:13) This is the full version of the Hannity segment featured in the film. It was a good idea to try to connect to something the audience might know, but Hannity mixed with a bunch of obviously fake news segments did nothing for ATLAS SHRUGGED II: THE STRIKE.
Deleted Scenes (14:43) This track plays several scenes rightly cut from ATLAS SHRUGGED II: THE STRIKE. The only one of merit features the aforementioned Richard T. Jones, but even it is pretty slow.
ATLAS SHRUGGED II: THE STRIKE also features “Sneak Peaks” of coming attractions BROKEN CITY and HITCHCOCK.