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Gary Wolcott’s “Hobbit” Shows Some Improvement

In response to Gary Wolcott’s 390‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Tri-City Herald

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In the past, Gary Wolcott’s work has been dragged down by prose that makes watching grass grow feel like a trip to Disney World. There was not one iota of variety in the syntax, his word choices did nothing to liven up the proceedings, and the prose lacked creativity.

Recently, though, Wolcott has been mixing it up a little more and the resulting work has been much more readable. Such is the case with “‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ suffers from its own desolation.” While it isn’t eye-popping in its vernacular limberness or even particularly fluid, it shows a marked improvement over previous efforts.

It might just be that the better writing is drawing it out more clearly, but the critique here feels more significant as well. Wolcott harps on the same issues that most critics are pointing out: that “those with knowledge of the book aren’t going to recognize big chunks” of the film and that director Peter Jackson “pushes Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins into the background” of the story.

This one still belongs in the second tier of reviews, but if Wolcott can continue this trend, he’ll slowly but surely climb his way into the company of greats.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation