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'Atlas Shrugged: Part II' kept from mainstream movie critics, but public interest remains high

The second installment of the “Atlas Shrugged” trilogy hits theaters on Friday, and despite the iconic nature of the Ayn Rand book, Part II remains shrouded in secrecy ahead of it’s premiere. The film has yet to be reviewed, apparently on purpose, because of the hammering Part I took from mainstream movie critics last year.

“The integrity of the critics are going off a cliff," producer John Aglialaro told FOX411 Pop tarts column. "Why should I give them the sword and they are just going to use to decapitate me with?"

Matt Atchity, editor-in-chief of the movie review aggregation site, Rotten Tomatoes, said Aglialaro's trepidation could be well-founded.

“It’s sometimes a fear due to the general conception that most of the press leans to the left, and this film obviously leans very far to the other side. It is rare that you will get reviews of overtly political movies without reviewers’ personal politics coming into it,” Atchity said. “So if critics want to review it, they’ll have to pay and see it at the same time as everyone else.”

Iindustry experts told us when it comes to certain political films, and especially ones that are given the thumbs up from the Tea Party and similar groups, sometimes no reviews are better than skewed ones.

“There is almost no media interest in the movie, and that is no surprise given how the first part was treated. Hollywood wants it to go away – quickly,” said Dan Gainor, VP of Business and Culture for Media Research Center. “The movie is already a success just by making it to the theater. Whenever the media get around to acknowledging this film exists, they are sure to attack it.”

Pop culture watcher Rachelle Friberg went even further.

“This film could have a direct impact on the election and the choice Americans have regarding who they believe will best lead the country toward economic prosperity centered on capitalism,” she said. “The liberal media does not want anything to arise that could dampen the president's chances of re-election. It is that simple.”

And according to NewsBusters.com, the “traditional media weren’t the biggest fans of ‘Atlas Shrugged: Part 1,’” and writer Liz Thatcher anticipates even more derision for Part II.

“It was hard to decipher which the media hated more; Rand’s objectivism or the first movie itself,” she continued.

The New York Times called Part I “comically tasteless” in its delivery of “simplistic nostrums with smug self-satisfaction.” Rolling Stone said the “novel gets the low-budget, no-talent treatment and sits there flapping on screen like a bludgeoned seal.” NewsBlaze said it was “laced with topsy turvy Marxism extolling bossy CEO suits in mass rebellion.” 

The onslaught of negative reviews had many wondering if Part II of the trilogy would even come to fruition.

It did, and despite its review moratorium, Part II has managed to pique the interest of the general public, with a 72 percent audience interest rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“I saw part 1 from Netflix and wanted to see part 2 but was afraid there never would be one. I mean let's face it, Hollywood isn't known for its tolerance of differing points of view when it comes to politics LOL! I like watching controversial movies occasionally, even if Hollywood makes it tough for them to be made,” wrote one movie-goer, while another remarked: “the liberal reviewers--oh wait! that's redundant isn't it--the reviewers reviewed the very entertaining Part I with their lib glasses on and hated it.”

Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report.

 

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