Who is John Galt? has become the question on all of Americas lips in Atlas Shrugged: Part II. But a better question might be Where is John Galt? Or When is John Galt going to show up? Because whatever its politics, Shrugged shrugs its way through the middle installment in this right-wing soap opera with zero sense of urgency and no hurry whatsoever.
Theyve re-cast the adaptation of Ayn Rands romance novel for the downtrodden rich, using former name actors in the leading roles. Thus, D.B. Sweeney is the mythical Galt, the guy luring Americas I built this crowd into some sort of Utopia for the 1 percent.
But he doesnt show up until the curtain. Not that this arrival animates this humorless rant.
Like a soap opera, its a tale set in the posh boardrooms, swank hotels, first-class passenger rail cars and limos of the super rich.
And just as in a soap opera, theyre a bunch of put-upon cry-babies, railing about government creeps holding them back, and moochers and parasites who arent working in a time of global depression.
Samantha Mathis is Dagny Taggart this time round, another heiress who acts as if she built the railroad that was her inheritance. She fumes and fools around with Henry Rearden (Jason Beghe), the OSHA-and-EPA-ignoring steel magnate who is hellbent on keeping his miracle metal out of the hands of the government.
Esai Morales is the South American scion of a copper empire who has known his rich compatriot Dagny since they were kids. As with the real Jet Set, these are people without borders whose only religion is wealth.
Atlas brings to mind the wag who described a politician as a stupid persons idea of what a smart person sounds like. Atlas Shrugged: Part II is a stupid persons idea of what a smart movie sounds like.