Thanks Ayn Rand! A movie about trains.

This is what Atlas Shrugged was about? What sort of revolutionary commentary on capitalism/post-transcendentalism/middle-class is this? I thought there would be robot overlords or a tyrannical rule through drugs ala Brave New World. It’s about a train? The book that’s made hundreds of thousands of conceited intellectuals is about a steel company? Is that why every Ayn Rand fan bores me to death in conversation? They’re the type of person who doesn’t bat an eye at awesome dystopian fiction like We and 1984 but can’t set down some continental railroad drama?

On the side of Balantine Hall for two damn months.

This is the graffiti that was pasted around my campus at Indiana University the past few years. Worst viral marketing campaign. Ever. I don’t care who John Galt is. You can’t just say a random name and expect people to care. If J.J. Abrams had replaced the smoke monster with just seeing some random named inscribed on trees for six seasons, some of the mystery would’ve been gone (ignoring the multiple times Lost did exactly this, or just showed a mysterious person staring back).

I have heard the phrase so many times now that I’ve grown to hate whoever or whatever he is. I can not think of a single possible storyline in which a name would mean so much. I’ve read four of the Left Behind novels, and there isn’t even that much build up over who’s The Antichrist.

I just keep watching this trailer and screaming at my computer monitor, “WHAT ARE YOU?!?” Every line of dialogue is some generic phrase my grandfather would say about hard work. What is happening? There’s a train being built, several people in suits talk about how determined they are to make money/ride trains, and people eat dinner. Message aside, was this movie shot entirely at Young Republicans meetings?

Now if John Galt had supernatural powers and was controlling trains with his mind – some sort of train-telepathy – and the rest of our characters had different motives to stop or help this mysterious figure that would be a movie I want.

No, random shmuck. The audience sees no reason to compare questions about the sky and grass to John Galt. Some of my fellow nerd friends and I play a D&D-type game called Mutants and Masterminds in Los Angeles. Our game master delights in making characters that are vague and have nothing to say but riddles. There is nothing to them but frustration. That’s what this entire trailer is.

Also, trains?!? Does anyone even ride them? They’re romantic and perfect for people with a fear of flying, but that’s it. From what I can tell. Either this one company is going to build a train or they won’t. No one will care. Twenty people who want to travel from Utah to California via rail will care. Worrying about a train being built is like worrying who will win this season’s episode of Survivor; you don’t even remember it exists until the topic is brought up.

Ok, if Old Man Adventure Expedition is in this show, I'll start watching.

IU photo from Jesse Darland.


About Chad Quandt

Writer for videogames, animation, the webcomic Suffrage. Master blocker in dodgeball. Barbecued with Corey Haim before he died.

Posted on March 1, 2011, in Chad Quandt, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I was considering doing a book review, but there was just too much hate/analytic philosophy involved.

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