5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Atlas Shrugged Part 1 [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I have read the book and just seen the movie on DVD, and I have read and watched a few reviews.
Some people have said that the movie looks cheap. That's absurd. Considering the budget it had, the production values are excellent. It looks like a competently-made, middle-budget theatrical film or a high-budget made-for-tv film. The producer, cinematographer, and director did an excellent job.
As an adaptation of the first third of the novel, "Atlas Shrugged", it is very good. I think anyone who has read the novel could fast-forward to any scene at random and immediately recognise what point of the book it's from; likewise, all the main characters are immediately recognisable the moment you see them on screen - even if a few are played by actors who don't really look like how Ayn Rand described them. That made no difference: the main actors were excellent and well cast, and they embodied the spirit of their characters.
I don't give it five stars for the following reasons. A couple of scenes were not really that well adapted from the book, especially Dagny's discovery of Hugh Akston at his diner. In the movie, the scene was abridged to the point of near-irrelevance. Also, the movie did not really make clear enough, I thought, how the design of the John Galt Line's bridge, from an engineering point of view, was only possible due to Rearden Metal's properties - even though the bridge is indeed accurately portrayed in the film. Still, it would have been easy to make that point more clear by having Rearden draw rough drafts of his bridge when he meets Dagny at the old bridge - a scene that would have underlined Rearden's engineering genius. But that's just my opinion - maybe other people would have found that boring.
I confess that I am a bit skeptical that parts 2 and 3 - if they do get made - will maintain the same quality, especially given the producers' (understandable) decision to set the story in the near future rather in the novel's alternate-reality 1950s. For instance, are the exploits of Ragnar Danneskjold's truly plausible in the 21st century - in the North Atlantic? But, let's see.
Anyone who is familiar with the novel will enjoy "part 1", I'm not sure how easy the plot will be to follow by those who haven't read the book.