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“‘The Hobbit: … ‘” as Empty as a Ringbearer’s Soul

In response to Peter Rainer’s 145‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Christian Science Monitor 

http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Movies/2013/1212/The-Hobbit-The-Desolation-of-Smaug-will-win-over-Tolkien-fans-and-newbies-alike-video

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Apathetic, despondent, and outright bleek outlook on the horizon—and that’s before the journey even gets started. “‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ will win over Tolkien fans and newbies alike (+video)—‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ stars Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen.” could be Peter Ranier’s adventure for the ages, but instead turns into a reluctant errand completed as hastily as dwarves washing dishes.

To his credit, after the cynical preface, Rainer does at least give the subject some leeway to prove itself. And he is quick to acknowledge its positive aspects, seemingly judged on their own merits and not the reputation set forth by its predecessor. That said, what is here is so brief and underdeveloped, an informed consensus is as difficult to make out as a hidden door on a mountainside. Where is the meat? Where is the intrigue, the drama? Given the subject’s girth, would it kill the author to explore more of its facets and passageways? It would certainly benefit the reader more than this trite, high-level gloss-over.

This is particularly frustrating as what is here has the makings of a truly entertaining piece. If only the author was actually more inspired than his hasty rhetoric implies, this could very well have been a thoroughly enriching and engaging tale. Alas, the reader is left wanting and will likely attempt to satisfy that fix with an offering from one of his peers.  

If Rainer truly desires to generate an audience for his work, he’d best build up his content a little. This work is as skimpy and forgettable as the personality of its subject’s fellowship.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation