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Rich Cline Takes a Brave and Daring Stance in “The Desolation of Smaug”

In response to Rich Cline’s 406‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on

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Rich Cline’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Movie Review” stands out in this review season for its refreshing approach, not to mention its daring stance.

Cline doesn’t waste time early, letting the audience know in the very first sentence how this film compares with the first one in the trilogy. But he is unique among critics—and undoubtedly many fans of the original Tolkien novel as well—when he says, “the key to enjoying the film is to distance oneself from the beloved novel.” He even goes on to say that the film being “a big adventure romp as opposed to Tolkien’s light-hearted romp” is actually “not a bad thing.”

That’s right, folks: here’s a critic who dares to suggest it’s okay to strive for something more than what the original source intended; that it’s perfectly fine to use the original novel as a launching pad for something that might even be better—or at least different. The reviewer deserves accolades just for his willingness to take that stance.

But then he goes on to write an insightful and enthralling piece. Here is someone willing to say the film does not have to be as inspiring as if Tolkien himself had come back from the grave to talk at the next Middle-earth convention—it’s enough just to make a fun movie with lots to enjoy. If the film includes its own unique touch and still entertains—so much the better.

Kudos to Cline and his Smaug Movie Review for taking a brave stand and sticking with it. You owe it to yourself to witness such bravery.    

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