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Matthew Turner Triumphs Over a Rigid Template in “Desolation of Smaug”

In response to Matthew Turner’s 496‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on ViewLondon

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Matthew Turner’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (12A)” offers real substance while lacking style. It’s a little hard to consider this entertaining, but it is very informative.

To the reviewer’s credit, he is trapped by having to follow a template. After an opening that is supposed to capsulize what he thinks of the movie, he is then forced into writing a synopsis under the heading “What’s it all about?” This is followed by more detailed analysis written under the headings “The Good” and “The Great.” If needed, “The Bad” would probably be there too. The last heading is “Worth seeing?,” which is self-explanatory. Perhaps the assumption here is that the audience who reads this must have their hands held throughout. The fact that the review itself has been shoved to the side of the site page instead of getting center stage doesn’t help.

Despite the unwieldy outline, Turner does a good job of laying things out. He is a good writer who makes his observations with clarity and insight. One can imagine how well he could do if the shackles were off, and he was allowed to write with some flair. He deserves the opportunity to let loose.

The template for The Desolation of Smaug is annoying. But Turner does a nice job here within its confines. Despite the pedantic outline, you owe it to yourself to read what he has to say.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation