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Steven D. Greydanus Shouts “You Should Have Done It My Way” in “Smaug”

In response to Steven D. Greydanus’s 1381‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Decent Films Guide

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You’d better have read Tolkien’s book “The Hobbit,” before reading this review because Steven D. Greydanus references it a lot in “SDG Reviews ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” If you haven’t read the book, you might feel a little lost. Actually, even if you have read the book, you might feel a little lost.

Considering how the critic calls the film trilogy “the epically epic trilogification of Tolkien’s slender fairy tale,” (say that phrase fast three times), he sure finds a lot missing from that original slender tale (in all fairness, he makes the same point and considers it baffling considering the movie’s length). The problem is, in making this point (again and again) it’s clear that this review has been written only for readers of the book.

Truth is Desolation of Smaug doesn’t come across so much as a movie review as it does a this-is-what-I-would’ve-done-if-I‘d-made-this-film piece. Greydanus does not seem interested much in critiquing the film as is.

How obligated a movie’s screenplay is to keeping certain elements of the original source is always up for debate, and how successful it is at doing so is always open to interpretation. Had this review been interested in pursuing an honest version of that discussion, this might have been a more meaningful piece.

Instead it reads like a child who says, “If you’re not going to play the game my way, I’m taking my ball and going home.” Better to just let him and skip this review.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation