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Jeffrey M. Anderson’s “Hobbit” Has Many Words, Doesn’t Say Much

In response to Jeffrey M. Anderson’s 868‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Combustible Celluloid

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When Jeffrey M. Anderson’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)” begins, it appears the critic is going to offer (as many critics have) a quick take on director Peter Jackson’s self-indulgence in turning J. R. R. Tolkien’s beloved children’s novel into a three part behemoth.

Four paragraphs later, Anderson is still stuck on this point and, even as that jabbering finally ends, another begins as he launches into an unnecessarily drawn out, detail-heavy (READ: spoiler-ific) block of plot recapping, miring readers in a seemingly endless chunk of prose without delivering anything even approaching critique.

Anderson employs a conversational tone and the prose is more than capable, which helps alleviate some of the long-windedness, but only up to a point; soon the conversation turns into a unwelcome monologue.

Perhaps it’s because you’re punch drunk by the time you get to the critique (and perhaps because there’s only two paragraphs of it), but the criticisms wind up feeling slight.

In the end, Anderson’s Desolation of Smaug echoes the accusations leveled at Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, falling prey to the same overlong self indulgence and unnecessarily stretched out meandering.

It’s certainly not the worst review of The Hobbit: TDOS, but its verbosity keeps it a middling effort at best.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation