It didn’t suck.
No, really, that is actually a compliment. Perhaps the biggest fear of fans of the book (of which, I am one) was that it was going to be a horror show and not in a Stephen King sort of way. It was not.
I just returned from the 8pm opening day showing of Atlas Shrugged-Part 1 at a suburban Dallas theatre and can report that the theatre was at least three-quarters full. One of my fellow Libertarians quipped, “If the all would have voted for us, we might have won.”
The acting was quite strong among all major characters, especially Taylor Schilling as Dagny Taggart and Grant Bowler as Hank Readon. Although some of the minor roles could have better portrayed, most were very well cast. I really liked Rebecca Wisocky as Lillian Readon and Michael O’Keefe as Hugh Akston.=, but perhaps this is because they are both are Law & Order “repeat offenders.”
The pace is much faster than the book and would have to be to condense 338 pages into 1:46. Major sections of the book were sliced including all of the childhood sequences of Dagny and Francisco.
One cut I did not like was of any reference to composer Richard Halley, but perhaps this is for the best because, quite frankly, I found the musical score to be the weakest part of the production.
The best addition to the story was the device used to introduce the idea of train travel in a modern setting. (The year of the movie is 2016.) In the interest of not spoiling, I will not go into the details.
All in all for the budget, Atlas Shrugged-Part 1 did not disappoint. I am sure it will be panned by some who are both critics of Rand and fans who were wanting more. I believe however, the production is quite solid and it did leave me wanting for Atlas Shrugged-Part 2.