The Adventures of Tintin Review
Kieran's Rating: 8.5/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 7.8/10
(2 reviews total)
*The following review is a re-posting of Kieran Freemantle's review that ran on Nov. 4.
Next to chocolate and waffles, Tintin is one of Belgium’s greatest exports, a character beloved by millions all over the world. Now, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have taken on the challenge of bringing the young reporter to motion-captured life.
Tintin (Jamie Bell) is a successful and famous journalist who has worked on a number of high-profile stories. He stumbles into a new adventure when he buys a model ship that drops him into a historical mystery involving sunken treasure and a centuries-long feud between two families. Along the way, he has to stop the dastardly Sakharine (Daniel Craig), find the clues to the treasure and work with the alcoholic Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), who must reclaim his ancestor’s treasure and lift a curse that has plagued his family.
The casting is absolutely pitch-perfect throughout. Bell and Serkis truly are Tintin and Haddock, a chalk-and-cheese relationship with Tintin as the man who has to keep Haddock on the straight and narrow. Tintin possesses more of a deadpan intelligence, whereas Haddock is a reactionary bruiser. Craig too makes a great villain; his voice was almost unrecognizable throughout as he ruthlessly fulfills his ancestors' tradition of thievery. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost continue their great double act as the bumbling detectives Thompson and Thompson. Snowy the pup will easily challenge Gromit and Milo (from The Mask
) for best movie dog.
From the getgo, there are plenty of homages and references to other "Tintin" stories that will please fans. Spielberg shows respect for the material, for the most part, while still make a movie the whole family can enjoy. It's a historical and modern mystery with a family feud, a treasure hunt, international adventure and bits of action-comedy tossed in.
This light romp matches the tone and style of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with plenty of homages to previous Spielberg films. Spielberg kept the period setting and uses a film noir style for the city scenes, fitting for the classic look of old cars, clothes and guns. This movie is a proper, old-fashioned adventure that takes Tintin and Haddock to exotic locations that would have still been a mystery in the 1930s. It was particularly impressive during a sequence when the movie flashes back and forth between the present to a pirate battle in the 17th Century in terms of how it was cut together. The entire production was action-packed, exciting and comic.
The comedy of "Tintin" was mostly physical, slapstick or revolved around Haddock’s alcoholism (because alcoholism is always funny). There are some witty lines and jokes for older audiences, but there are a couple of jokes involving burping when you would expect Spielberg and "Tintin" to be above that.
We all know that previous full motion capture movies have failed to impress. But The Adventures of Tintin delivers with realistic little details such as freckles along cartoonish features. Because of the animated world, Spielberg was not limited by the realities of a practical filmmaker and came up with really impressive action sequences throughout. He certainly knows action and it is impressive that the effects in "Tintin" were more realistic than in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
The Adventures of Tintin
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish (screenplay), Hergé (comic book)
Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost
Other Player Affinity Staff Reviews
"Tintin is one of those indelible literary characters that seems custom-made for a big-screen treatment, so imagine the excitement once Spielberg and Jackson are added along with a stellar British cast. In the end however, The Adventures of Tintin
is an utterly messy, tonal-nightmare with stunning animation, masterfully constructed set pieces and a number of high-caliber vocal contributions. If his award-worthy work as Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes
wasn’t enough to crown Andy Serkis the king of mo-cap acting, his work as Captain Haddock here clinches it twice over; he steals this movie and is every bit as good as he was as an engaged primate. The storytelling is really where “Tintin” comes up short, with jarring leaps in logic popping up every ten minutes, interjections of slapstick and over-the-top, ludicrous death-defying action sequences, that make “Transformers” look like The Hurt Locker
. The sense of place and scope and adventure is fully-realized at every turn, but what makes Tintin endearing on paper and in earlier adaptations seems largely absent." Rating: 7/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 7.8/10