Yesterday may have been President′s Day, but today is the ′reel′ holiday as Atlas Shrugged II – The Strike is now available on DVD. Yes! The saga continues as Ayn Rand′s exceptional novel comes to life. Part 2 of the film takes up where we last left our heroes as they wonder ′Who is John Galt?′ The movie begins as Ellis Wyatt′s oil field is still burning away in Colorado after the government passes the Fair Share law. Amazing that Rand foresaw the current Obama agenda more than 50 years ago. But then, Socialism was already creeping its way more and more into our society through the school systems and government bureaucracies.
The world continues to sink as Capitalism dies. Gasoline is now over $40 a gallon, leaving train travel as the only way for most people and goods to get around. Despite the success of Dagny Taggart and Henry Reardon in building the John Galt Line, the economy is too depressed for any long-term profits. Freight trains that had been running several times per week are now only going twice a month with half the load. Meanwhile, Dagny continues her quest to unravel the mystery of a curious machine capable of turning the Earth′s static electricity into a usable energy source.
Henry Reardon is also under more pressure as the Fair Share law attempts to force him into submission. Refusing to fill an order to the government for his Reardon Metal, Henry is brought up on charges and faces 10 years in prison. A kangaroo court finds him guilty of being too greedy and independent, but since he is one of the last producers left around for the ′socially just′ looters to feast upon, his sentence is suspended.
By now the economy is so bad that the government in Washington enacts Directive 10-289, a decree that essentially ends Capitalism once and for all. Companies may not fire any employees, wages and prices are frozen, and consumers are mandated to spend the same as they did a year ago. Dagny has had enough and walks away, but not far enough. A train derailment brings her back into the game as Reardon is forced by blackmail to hand over his patents to the government.
When Dagny′s train to the crash site breaks down, she meets one of her technicians who still wears a ballcap from his last job as an employee of 20th Century Motors. The old company where Hank and her discovered the mysterious energy machine. Jeff Allen, the former employee, tells Dagny that he is the person responsible for the saying, ″Who is John Galt?″ He explains how Galt rebelled when the company adopted a ′socially just′ method of paying employees based on their needs instead of their productivity. Galt swore he would stop the motor of the world, so, whenever Allen hears about another factory closing, he wonders if John Galt is somehow responsible?
The history lesson is interrupted as a gifted engineer, Quentin Daniels, whom Dagny hired to work on the energy machine, calls her to resign from his task. She borrows Allen′s truck and heads for Utah to try to talk Daniels into staying. Dagny buys an old Lear Jet to expedite her journey, but she is already too late. Just as she prepares to land, she sees Daniels board a futuristic VSTOL jet and gives chase as it flies away. The VSTOL jet suddenly vanishes while apparently heading towards a mountain range. Dagny′s jet enters an energy field, disabling her plane and forcing her to crash. A man comes to help remove her from the debris and identifies himself as none other than John Galt!
All in all, a good flick! I still wonder how the producers intend to do Atlas Shrugged in just three movies? Back in the heyday of TV mini-series in the 1980s, there were plans to film a 6-part, 12-hour production. So far, the current team of film makers have given us about 4-hours worth and maybe half the book at best. The first film did remarkably well considering how few theaters actually showed it. This second offering had more screens when it was in the theaters, but had a fairly short run.
Thankfully, Atlas Shrugged II – The Strike, is now out on DVD and is also available via On Demand, too! Part 3 of the movie adaptation of Ayn Rand′s novel is set to be released in theaters on July 4, 2014. Hopefully, we′ll still have a country then despite the policies of Barack Obama. Unfortunately, the clock is ticking on America. As Ayn Rand once said, ″Money is the barometer of a society′s virtues. But when you see that in order to produce it, you need to obtain permission from those who produce nothing…You will know that your society is doomed.″ Well, thanks to Obama, we′re getting pretty close to that point in history. Some will argue that we′ve already passed it. So it might be time for all of us to ask, Who is John Galt?