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Nell Minow’s “Desolation of Smaug” Begs the Question ‘Where’s the Beef?’

In response to Nell Minow’s 709‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Beliefnet

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It’s hard to take Nell Minow’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” seriously when, after proclaiming how the first film in the trilogy “got bogged down in the storytelling,” she feels the need to recap the first movie herself and does the very same thing. It’s a recap that actually causes more confusion once finished.

Finally, the reviewer starts to talk about the second film, only to basically give the audience yet another summary. Another confusing summary, that is. It’s as hard to decipher as a Tolkien riddle.

It would be wise to move on at that point and get to the meat of the piece—except there isn’t any meat. Yes, there are a few bland observations, such as pointing out that “purists” may not like the addition of a film character that was not part of the book, but this critic welcomes it. And saying that the detail in the movie tells the viewer that “the people who created these structures intended them to be permanent and beautiful” is actually kind of confusing. What “people?” Characters in the movie? The film’s scene designers?

There’s also a vaguely worded reference to the battle scenes in the movie being inspiring and showing “a seriousness of purpose and meaning,” but by then, the mind will have developed an unfortunate tendency to wander.

It’s hard to know what the purpose behind The Desolation of Smaug is once you get past the shallow prose and lack of substance. If you look at it as a meal, you might actually feel hungrier than before you eat it.     

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation