Well I have seen the film. Here is my review. Well first lets answer some set up questions.
HAVE YOU READ THE BOOK?
DOES IT THE FILM FOLLOW THE BOOK?
I have not read the book so I do not know.
Despite what many of you are thinking (I know this will generate hate mail) I'm not even a follower of Ayn Rand "objectivist" ideology and have no intention of opening the book. In many ways I'm glad since I can go into this film and judge the film on its merits.
BOTTOM LINE KEV, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FILM?
It is a weird experience for me. The film is surprisingly good and at the same time has some deep and in one case, near fatal flaws.
SURPRISINGLY GOOD? WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
When I first heard of the project going into production I was concerned. It appeared to be an ashcan copy so the producers could hold on to the rights. The budget level reported made it seem that the film would look and sound awful and it set off the dreaded Sucking Donkey Alert.
Boy was I wrong.
The film has an incredible amount of polish to it. There are some studio films that have spent alot more only to get no where near what this film looks like. The film is surprisingly fast paced and does a shockingly good job of setting up its universe. (You almost want it to dig deeper into the world the characters inhabit.
WHAT ABOUT THE ACTING?
The acting is pretty good for the majority of the film. Yes there are no "big" stars but that is a plus here as you buy right into the characters. No star "baggage" as thats [insert stars name here] playing Dagny Taggart, rather you look at the screen and go "There is Dagny Taggart". That is refreshing.
The problem the actors run into is the script sometimes lets them down.
I HEARD THE GUY WHO PLAYS QUARK FROM DS9 IS IN IT?
Yes he is. But he plays a character that is much like the anti-Ferengi in the film.
IS ANDREW BREITBART IN IT?
Yes. If you look closely (when the girl wears the purple dress) you will see him.
IS THE FILM HARD TO FOLLOW?
No, in fact it gets quite engrossing despite little or no "action" as we have come to expect.
IS THE FILM BORING?
No, as its quite engrossing...
SO WHAT ARE THE FLAWS?
There are THREE flaws.
1. LOW BUDGET
While the film is well made and has a great degree of polish sometimes the low budget rears its ugly head. EXAMPLE: After two of the characters accomplish a major goal with massive media coverage there is a crowd of say 10 people to greet them where there would normal be hundreds if not thousands. The film runs into this problem a couple of times. Also there are some very bad FX shots.
While they are not fatal flaws they do take you right out of the film.
2. LOGIC HOLES.
****WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS****
Sometimes the film has things that defy logic. EXAMPLE: In an abandoned factory two charters find a room, not very well hidden, filled with schematics and valuable equipment. Just sitting there, out in the open, seemingly untouched by time. I will say Flynn's Arcade "secret" room was better hidden than this one.
Another example is the ending when the oil field blows up. Dagny simply runs up there unobstructed and watches the field on fire. The press cant get up there, there are no firemen or police up there either even though there are a ton of them down by the house.
The film has numerous logic holes like this and they take you right out of the film.
This is the films nearly fatal flaw. Much of the film Rand's dialogue was adapted to fit the screen. The good thing is these adaptations work really well and convey what Rand envisioned in her novel. However, there are numerous instances when the characters are speaking lines directly from the book and its painful to watch. Randian speakings worked in a novel in 1957 but do not work in a film in 2011. You know exactly when they lift lines from the novel cause the speaking begins to clunk along.
It's a shame also cause the script works pretty well throughout most of the film, except where it takes lines literally from rands novel.
SO WHATS GOOD?
Quite alot. The actors are pretty good, the pacing is pretty good, the film is quite engrossing and the production values often hide the low budget. Yes I was quite entertained and so was the audience I saw it with. I also really enjoyed the way it ended...the producers struck the exact note: They made you want more.
WHAT WAS THE AUDIENCE REACTION?
They seemed to enjoy it. Laughed at the jokes and wanted more when the film ended.
SHOULD I GO SEE IT?
If you understand that you are going to watch a low budget film, with no major action set pieces then yes. Will you like it? Hard to say.
When I heard how the film was made I expected a donkey sucking disaster. Instead I was pleasantly surprised and was impressed a few times with the film. Yes the film has flaws but you got to give the filmmakers credit for making the film as good as they did in the situation they were given.
I kept on thinking: "This should be sucking donkey" and yet it did not. That is why it was such a weird experience for me. Also they turned off the audio during the end credits.