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Joe Williams’s “Adventurers Are Stranded” Strands the Audience Too

In response to Joe Williams’s 418‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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In “Middle-earth adventurers are stranded in foggy ‘Smaug,” it’s pretty clear that Joe Williams does not want to spend a lot of time talking about this movie, so don’t expect any scintillating film critiquing, pearls of wisdom or elegant turns of phrase. What you can expect is a mildly amusing piece that gets the job done but could have been oh so much more.

Williams begins with a reference to a scene from a well-known comedy about a group of warriors in search of the legendary Holy Grail. Film aficionados will pick up on it right away, but since he doesn’t actually reference the name of the film, there might be those who won’t be in on the joke. A shame, because it’s actually not a bad line.

The rest of this piece is like that.  A few smiles along the way as the critic finds plenty to complain about, using lines like, “Is it too much to ask that we be entertained?” Well, the audience for this review wants to be entertained too, so why not go over the top with the caustic humor? If you’re going to tell them how miserable the movie is, some hearty laughs along the way always help.

The reviewer ends the piece with a pun—again, you might smile, or you might groan—that helps to show how much more fun this piece could have been.  Middle-Earth Adventurers Are Left Stranded will tell you what you need to know. But you might find yourself feeling a little stranded yourself when you’re done.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation