Twelve years ago, 2oth Century Motors was a prosperous company. But when the owners’ children took over, they completely changed how the company works. From then on, people would work as hard as they could but would also receive as much as they need. In other words, the needier you were the more you earned. One man refused to submit to this, and he promised to “stop the motor of the world”…

And so we are, 12 years later, where the world has basically fallen apart. All the most brilliant minds have mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind desolation as government regulates more and more. Dagny Taggart, the true soul in Taggart Transcontinental, finally found the man behind all this: John Galt. He rescued her from her plane crash and brought her to his home. In there, she is seen by a famous neurosurgeon who invented a revolutionary way to scan patients in seconds.

In the next few days, she discovers Mulligan Valley, where she meets Ellis Wyatt, the oil magnate and Midas the banker. All of them are “striking” as they refuse to have their minds used for ends they don’t believe in. She thinks they are cowards, as they are giving up the fight. That’s why she leaves the Valley to return to New York City. Unfortunately, her brother James Taggart had negociated a Railway Unification Act that basically nationalized all railroads.

Meanwhile, head of State Thompson was preparing a speech in order to reassure the population. Little did he know that another speech would be heard, making the people stand up for themselves…

Annoying Cinematography 

This movie was dissapointing on many levels. First, the narrator telling the story is very annoying and too much in-your-face. He often makes the contrast between utopic Mulligan Valley and the rest of the world where regulations are stiffling what’s left of the economic activity. We get it; we can deduct it by ourselves.

Second, as it was the case for the preceeding movie, the whole cast has been changed. It’s quite annoying since it’s hard to know who’s who – except for Dagny; the actress in III does look like the one in II and she finally got her strong-willed persona she had in I. D’Anconia now looks like he’s 60 (the actor is 57), making his past relation with Dagny (who was born 20 years later) weird, although his acting is credible. Also, he looks like he’s from Peru with his Native traits. Ellis Wyatt is now a Texan rancher who likes Matthew McCaughey in Dallas Buyers’ Club (with the same physique). Finally, however, the actor playing John Galt is doing it wonderfully. He is calm yet firm in his ideas and he’s not afraid to speak his mind directly even though his ideas are not popular.

Very Disappointing Adaptation *spoilers from the book*

But sadly, the most important part of the movie, Galt’s monologue, didn’t even reflect half of what he said. There is barely any hint of objectivism in the speech; he doesn’t even state the identity association A is A nor does he talk much about sacrifice, Rand’s epitome of what’s wrong with society. He does about a strike of the minds but not how the mind ends where brute force starts, an interesting analogy with today’s world.

Also, his meeting with Thompson is anti-climatic. In the book, Thompson is completely desperate to get Galt’s advice. But when Galt does give advice, Thompson stutters to defend his interventionnist ways. In the movie, Galt merely says “Get out of the way”; there is no back-and-forth exchange where Galt reminds Thompson that violence is a means to suspend one’s judgment.

Furthermore, the secret government project is “Project F”, which competely destroys the climax of the Taggart Bridge destruction. In the book, it was destroyed through Project X, a machine that can destroy a building without explosives. It was made using Rearden Metal. It ends up destroying the bridge because of negligence. In the movie, Project F is merely the machine that tortures Galt.

Finally, we could have seen much more of Galt’s Gulch… er, Mulligan Valley. We only saw the neurosurgeon with his X-Ray Tablet. We didn’t get to see the composer who quit before the encore in part II, nor did we see a whole lot about they gold-standard monetary system, nor did we see a lot about other striking minds. The lady who homeschools her children, however, is a nice defense of school choice.

In short, don’t pay full price if you are to see this movie as it’s not worth it. The movie in itself is moralizing (even though I agree with the morale) and the adaptation doesn’t honor Rand’s memory. The first part remains the best movie of the trilogy as it was told in a way that both said enough to reveal Rand’s thoughts and yet not too much so potential readers would buy the book. But with this movie, I don’t think new people will show interest in Rand’s work