Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who is John Galt? (Blu-ray Review)

Atlas Shrugged Part III Blu-ray ReviewAtlas Shrugged Part III, subtitled Who is John Galt?, continues the story of Dagny Taggart and John Galt (once again bizarrely recast with actors Laura Regan and Kristoffer Polaha). In this third and final film adapting Ayn Rand’s novel, Taggart has stumbled upon a self-created utopia of the world’s creative minds have escaped to after overbearing government regulation. The film saw a limited release of 242 screens when it was released in September 2014.

Atlas Shrugged- Part III


Thick runs the spine of Ayn Rand’s popular 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged, so much so that tackling the film adaptation as a three part trilogy is probably warranted, unlike a recent trilogy that returned us to Middle Earth. Unfortunately, the Atlas Shrugged pictures are not helmed by an Oscar winning filmmaker, and the results are decidedly lesser than typical Hollywood productions. The novel’s politics are a passion of those of a right-leaning mindset, to which there are relatively few in the Hollywood system, and Atlas Shrugged Part III, like its two predecessors, comes across as amateurish.

There are those who hate Rand and her rugged individualistic philosophical construct of Objectivism, who likely relish the reviews and box office returns of these films. However, the film’s failure does not lie at the feet of whether or not you agree with Rand’s political opinions, but rather at the execution of the vehicle with which they are presented.

The acting, while it could be worse, does not elevate the quality of the production, the editing is unnecessarily choppy, and the film does not adhere to the tried and true mantra that it is better to show than to tell, as most of this film’s story points are given in conversations with characters in softly lit rooms, or in a voiceover that lets us know about events outside our central characters, almost like a recitation of a comic book panel that states “Meanwhile, in a hideout unbeknownst to our heroes…”. When a character near the end of the film blurts out “Project F!” it’s as if the line is being delivered by Harvey Corman from a script by Mel Brooks.

The movie makes no qualms about aiming toward a particular niche political audience. Conservative and libertarian voices such as Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Ron Paul cameo as themselves. That audience that feels underrepresented in a medium with liberal leanings at least has something made for them, albeit lackluster.

Atlas Shrugged- Part III


Despite at least one explosion and a few handheld weapons, this is mostly a film of talking heads, and the film contains little flash in the visual department, represented pretty well in this Blu-Ray presentation.

  • Encoding: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio:78:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Good detail here, though it comes across as a decent television movie. There is numerous use of stock footage, using aerial shots of rolling hills that have a different, less detailed look than the rest of the film.
  • Depth: The characters show up in competently put together depth of field shots, though many are seen in profile intercut with characters that are not, giving a rather awkward editing technique.
  • Black Levels: Good
  • Color Reproduction: The colors are muted in accordance with the filmmaker’s wishes, except in the stock footage sequences, which feature more saturated colors and some problematic uses of CGI.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones are all natural and authentic looking throughout.
  • Noise/Artifacts: None

Atlas Shrugged- Part III


Again, nothing flashy, just a routine but satisfying display of an uninspired audio mix.

  • Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
  • Dynamics: Well balanced between clean audio and score tracks.
  • Low Frequency Extension: LFE is utilized to bring balance to the presentation.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Major utilization here is the overbearing, telling score by Elia Cmiral.
  • Dialogue Reproduction:  Spoken words were clear and intelligible.

Atlas Shrugged- Part III


Fox’s Blu-Ray presentation of Atlas Shrugged Part III includes a redemption code for the Digital HD copy of the film good for UltraViolet. The disc contains no audio commentary, with the special features section consisting only of brief interviews and a short featurette:

  • On the Set of Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? with Kristoffer Polaha (John Galt) (HD, 2:47)
  • On the Set of Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? with Eric Allan Kramer (Ragnar Danneskjold) (HD, 1:37)
  • On the Set of Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? with Dominic Daniel (Eddie Willers) (HD, 1:21)
  • On the Set of Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? with Associate Producer John Carter (HD, 1:30)
  • On the Set of Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? at the State Science Institute (HD, 1:45)

Atlas Shrugged- Part III


Despite writing several screenplays, Ayn Rand was no friend of Hollywood, and was outwardly critical of the film adaptation of her novel The Fountainhead. It’s quite likely Rand would show an even greater distaste for the three adaptations of her most well known work. Those who have been inspired by her philosophy may find solace in the fact that these films were finally made after years of trying to adapt Atlas Shrugged for the screen, but this third and final installment fails to deliver anything close to an entertaining moviegoing experience.

Atlas Shrugged Part III Blu-ray


Reviewer/Actor/Director/Screenwriter, former film critic for PBS' nationally televised series Just Seen It, and an MFA graduate of USC's School of Cinematic Arts. Favorite films include ROCKY, DIE HARD, GHOSTBUSTERS, THE GODFATHER, and television shows such as TWIN PEAKS, THE X-FILES, and THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

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