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Ty Burr’s “Swinging Hammer” Is the Ted Talk of Snark Over Substance

In response to Ty Burr’s 656‑word review of Thor: The Dark World on Boston Globe

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Congratulations to Ty Burr for his entertaining Ted Talk of Snark. The critic’s work, “In Thor, the swinging hammer misses,” will surely be studied for decades on how one can cruise through a review with snark without actually saying much about the film. It’s a great accomplishment, and unfortunately it’s also a great review fail.

Swinging hammer is undoubtedly entertaining which makes it better than average, however Burr’s fans may be disappointed by his refusal to offer something substantial. Is the composition an audition for something else? One simply cannot know the answer.

Ty Burr is a true gentleman in swinging hammer by not completely giving up because of his distaste for the film. However, the humor is way overdone. The introductory paragraph on fan-boys is amusing, but the following paragraphs consists of weak analysis surrounded by run-on sentences where Burr tries way too hard.

Short snippet of critique-look how funny I am. Short snippet of critique-check out my reference.

Ok, the review is humorous, but what’s the film all about? Here’s what you the reader gets:

“Feh, I say. Feh, to all of it.”

Burr is master of the metaphor in swinging hammer. Everything is “like” something. The critic describes the appearances of the characters and the setting without actually exploring the themes and plot devices for the audience. The actors are mentioned, but Burr refuses to comment on the performances. It’s all a bunch of mumbo-jumbo that could be a villain in a bad film about film criticism.

Swinging hammer will knock you over the head with metaphors until you begin to see Asgard.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation