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Kerry Lengel Lacks Commitment in “The Desolation of Smaug”

In response to Kerry Lengel’s 618‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Arizona Republic

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Kerry Lengel attempts a reasoned approach in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” This might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but his unwillingness to commit brings phrases like “namby pamby” to mind.

The problem is, he wants to write for two types of audience: Hobbit/Tolkien/fantasy fans, and those who aren’t but will see the film anyway. For example, early on he takes the film’s director to task for giving himself a cameo early in the movie, as if Hitchcock (who he mentions by name) is the only director who ever did it successfully. He is quick to point out that “fans” (meaning the aforementioned former group) won’t object.

There are other examples of this, where he suggests that the “ubergeek pantheon,” as he calls them, will be less discerning of the film because they’ll just be so happy to see the world of Middle Earth displayed on screen. To the reviewer’s credit, that’s the closest he comes to giving insult.

Lengel does make some valid points about padding the Hobbit movies to get a trilogy out of it, making the humorous point that when all is said and done “it will take more time to watch ‘The Hobbit’ than it will to read it.” Unfortunately, there isn’t enough of this type of humor.

That, plus the insinuation that so-called Hobbit geeks don’t need quality as much as quantity (hey, actually, that does sound kind of insulting!) makes for a weak piece that you can probably avoid—ubergeeks especially.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation