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Justin Chang’s Detailed “Desolation of Smaug” Leaves No Stone Unturned

In response to Justin Chang’s 1317‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Variety

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Justin Chang leaves no stone unturned—or plot point unanalyzed—in his finely detailed “Film Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” He is nothing, if not thorough. He’s also quite entertaining.

 Right from the opening sentence, it’s clear that Chang is a confident wordsmith who knows what he’s talking about. The work here is smart. Chang  goes step by step right through the movie, breaking things down with a skilled eye. Length is not an issue here in what is, admittedly, a long piece, because it is always interesting, and intelligently written. Audience members already familiar with the Tolkien source used for the film may get special pleasure from the detail the reviewer goes into in giving his opinion about what this filmmaker has wrought.

However,  those who come to The Desolation of Smaug knowing nothing more than what was in the previous Hobbit film may be upset once they realize that Chang is giving up a lot about the storyline. He’s not being a spoiler exactly, but he is telling more of the movie’s plot than someone who wants to be surprised when they see the film may be comfortable with. It is a credit to Chang that, despite giving away so much, his analysis is so sharp and fun to read that one might not care. It’s that good.

So go into Chang’s piece understanding that you may come away from it knowing more than you want to. But you’ll have a great time while learning it.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation