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Smaug Gobbles Up Donald Clarke Due to Bad Comedic Timing in “Film Review”

In response to Donald Clarke’s 603‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Irish Times

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Donald Clarke produces a mildly entertaining piece of work with “Film Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” even though the critic often appears to be filling up space with words rather than offering a full critique.

Let’s start at the end of Film Review. A statement such as “you already have a good idea what this film is like,” indicates the amount of effort that was put in the work. Clarke takes the comedic angle but the timing is devastating.

Once Clarke is done rambling about “Mount Whatsit” and noting “the shape of a galaxy by staring at one island in one ocean on one planet,” the reader may feel overwhelmed by it all. The second half of Film Review is coherent, however Clark merely details out the basics of the plot and states that the environment is “sufficiently well realised” and the set pieces are “sufficiently excited.” So, understand that things are sufficient, reader.

Film Review is effective by informing that things happen in the second half of the film, but Clarke struggles with structure and the concept of criticism. The piece is not trash-worthy, however the cutesy tone is not enough to overcome the lack of analysis.

Donald Clarke says the film “is barely a film at all.” Film Review is barely a review at all.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation