Peter Foster reviews the Atlas Shrugged movie:
The movie is set in today’s not-too-distant future, but has kept Dagny in railroads and Hank in metals by positing a massive oil crisis due to the implosion of the Middle East. The Dow at 4,000 we can believe, but oil at $37.50 a gallon? At that price, a Chevy Volt might actually not be such a bad deal. Domestic oil is once again king (despite being utterly unaffordable) but is being carried by train. Whatever happened to pipelines?
None of this makes much sense. Perhaps the plot should have been left as a future-of-the-past, like, say, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, or it should have been thoroughly reformulated to reflect statism’s new threats. How’s this for a rewrite? Dagny now runs a pipeline company trying to build a huge new system for a form of oil previously uneconomic but now made available by wonderful advances in capitalist technology. Let’s say this oil is located in Alberta and her line is to go to the U.S. refineries of the Gulf Coast, to replace imports from dictatorships.
Hank is still in the steel industry but his new wonder metal is now to be used to build a cheaper, stronger and safer type of pipe. However, he is opposed not by other steel or pipe makers, but by a pack of meretricious, politically-savvy environmental NGOs. These organizations are fronted by naive chanting muddle heads, who have no idea where their rich lifestyles originate, and backed by capitalist foundations (the irony!) that have been hijacked by socialists, and by CEOs either too cowardly or stupid to say no (or by those who seek to take advantage of government handouts to produce throwback technologies). These NGOs claim that the oil is “dirty” and destroying the climate and that Hank Rearden’s new and better steel in unsafe, and threatens aquifers and environmentally sensitive areas. Their hysterical claims are eagerly swallowed by a gullible liberal media. Meanwhile politicians, despite high unemployment, are prepared to sacrifice tens of thousands of jobs because they, too, are cowed by the ENGOs, and in any case attracted by the unparalleled power prospects of aspiring to control the weather.
I know this is all a bit far fetched, but we are talking a movie plot here.