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Sean Means’ “Comic Exercise in Excess” Is an Exercise in Crisp Writing

In response to Sean Means’s 502‑word review of The Wolf of Wall Street on Salt Lake Tribune

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Sean Means’ “Movie Review: ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ is a comic exercise in excess” features crisp prose that moves along at a galloping clip, entertaining the audience as it goes. Unlike  the suggested “excess” of the title, this is an exercise in clean, fresh writing.

Yes, this piece is a fast read, but like a finely streamlined action movie with nary a wasted shot, Means’ review keeps the audience glued to the action—or in this case, his words. He does this using a simple style that is never dull or pedantic, but, thankfully, stays far away from pretentious. He achieves that middle ground by combining intelligence with a style that never talks down to the audience. It is thoroughly enjoyable.

This piece also overcomes the plot synopsis trap that so many critics fall into; instead of bring the narrative to a dead stop (think how annoyed you feel when at a key point in a movie on TV, things break for a commercial), Means artfully weaves the plot effortlessly into the article without missing a beat.

If there is one kerfuffle in this piece, it is when he reveals the ultimate outcome of the film. Sometimes doing so is a necessary aspect of the overall critique. Not so here. He could have easily avoided it (though, to his credit, he does not go into detail).

Still, with that the only  glitch, Comic Exercise in Excess is well worth reading.     

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation