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Edward Douglas’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Trips Over Itself

In response to Edward Douglas’s 987‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on

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Edward Douglas’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” trips over itself in its rush to praise.

Douglas’s review has something interesting to say about the latest installment of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings saga. Unfortunately, his poor diction and strange syntax sometimes cloud it.

The best example of this is his defense of the movie’s inclusion of a female love interest not in Tolkien’s book. He (rightly) defends the choice, but unfortunately writes that the move “may be cowtowing (sic) to the series’ female fan base”. “Cowtowing” sounds like something you’d see in the Iowa State Fair; also he might not want to reference the towing of bovines when referring to Tolkien fans of the fair sex. Also, “cowtowing” sounds too much like an entry for driving your girlfriend on her especially boring errands or some particularly depraved euphemism for a sex move.

Douglas gets painful when he writes of the computer generated Smaug “it’s another jaw-breaking achievement in terms of visual FX.” Ouch! Readers might want not to witness that achievement or any others that threaten bodily harm. There are several sentences that repeated readings have failed to render any more intelligible.

In the end, Douglas’s review doesn’t kowtow to reader expectations nor does it achieve any jaw-dropping, -breaking, or even bruising effects on readers, but there are some interesting, unconventional insights in there.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation