The Adventures of Tintin (USA/New Zealand, 2011)

Directed by: Steven Spielberg. I think Tintin is something that people either grew up with or they didn’t. And no matter how appealing you try to make this franchise appear to uninitiated adults, it will probably never be anything more than just a bunch of Indiana Jones cartoons with a more European style, for kids. There won’t be any real magic in it. For the rest of us, the magic is built in, we yearn for it, we want to see it, no matter what the actual finished film comes out being. That yearning for childhood nostalgia has been Steven Spielberg’s bread and butter for his whole career, so he’s a complete natural for this movie. That being said, as much as I was ready to suspend my disbelief for this movie, it didn’t completely sweep me off of my feet. I’d hazard to say that watching it on a small screen at home instead of in a large cineplex probably contributed to this incomplete immersion into the world of the film. I really enjoyed the animation here, which was surprising. I felt like, for once, using CG animation instead of the familiar cell animation really added something fresh—again, I grew up on those cartoons, so I’ve seen that. The story, however, was kind of, well, familiar. I suppose it’s better that Spielberg and Peter Jackson and crew (Edgar Wright worked on this too!) decided to stick with the source material fairly closely. But somehow, the predictability made it a bit less engaging. But maybe this is a nitpicking argument. The action sequences were truly remarkable, and the motion-capture animation, lifted from actors’ movements, made the figures look both really interesting and also really unnatural, so there was always something interesting to watch onscreen, even in the non-action sequences. The chase scene near the end with the  three pieces of paper and the deluge of water through the city was one of the most exciting action sequences I’ve seen. The acting was fantastic, from Daniel Craig as the villain to Andy Serkis, who did a great job of getting me to forget how much I love David Fox—the voice of Haddock from the cartoon series. If you weren’t already a fan of Tintin, maybe watch this movie anyway? At the least, it’s a jolly good kid’s adventure, and what the hell, right?

One response to “The Adventures of Tintin (USA/New Zealand, 2011)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2012 | Offhand Reviews·

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