The Adventures of Tintin
- Director: Steven Spielberg
- Genre: Adventure, Animation
- Details: US/106mins PG
- Release Date: 19/10/2011
Fanboy dreams are made of pairings like this. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have teamed up to tackle a popular cartoon character, even if it's one known to few in Hollywood. The first of a proposed trilogy - with Spielberg helming this one, Jackson the next and both co-directing the third - Tintin is a thoroughly well-executed affair that boasts the most impressive motion capture effects we've seen to date. Despite that fact, it's an empty shell of a film and Tintin himself comes off as little more than an anal boy scout with an inexplicable drive.
We first meet our pointy-fringed hero as he picks up a pint-sized antique boat at a bargain price. Getting there moments before Daniel Craig's dastardly Ivanovich Sakharine, he soon smells a mystery and sets out to investigate after an Interpol agent is killed on his doorstep. Teaming up with an alcoholic ship captain with a bloodline intrinsically linked to the mystery, Tintin and his loyal dog Snowy find themselves trying to get to the bottom of another mystery.
Having never read the books that this Hollywood adaptation is based on, my reaction to the character is based purely on this cinematic interpretation - and it's not good. The script assumes that you know the background, so it never bothers to give its main character anything resembling context for his actions. He's just a boy in search of adventure, and somehow has the naturally acquired skills of Jason Bourne and Sherlock Holmes combined - yet he still needs a dog that makes the Littlest Hobo look like Cujo to get him out of many a scrape.
Main character gripes aside, Tintin is a film blatantly driven by set-pieces, with a plot about as complicated as Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Giving the quality of the screenwriters (Stephen Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish) you'd have been forgiven for expecting more. Spielberg never really connects with the material or characters in the way you'd expect, but admittedly, he delivers on the eye candy front.
Aesthetically, The Adventures of Tintin is easily the best looking motion capture film yet (is that like 'skinniest kid in fat camp' syndrome?) The eyes aren't as dead as previous Robert Zemekis-helmed outings, and the characters all move in a realistic, if slightly stylised manner. The heightened features are a little distracting at first, but not wacky enough to sneak into Shrek territory, either.
Young boys will find plenty here to enjoy, not least some impressive set pieces. But Tintin doesn't have even one character worth caring about - other than a dog - and the plot is rudimentary, at best.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 09:00 | Wednesday 19th October 2011 | Movie Review
Sounds like this is very much for those of us who read the books as a child.....Posted 10:28 | Mon 24th Oct 2011
The directing titans of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson join forces to bring an animated Tintin to the big screen... with mixed results. I only have vague memories of reading the Tintin books as a young boy, so I really had to dig into my mental archives to try and remember what Tintin is all about. This first film in a proposed trilogy is a light, breezy affair that zips along at a merry pace. The animation (via performance capture by the actors) is so incredibly photo-realistic at times that I wondered why it's not live action in the first place. Thankfully, the animated humans don't have the "dead eyes" look of The Polar Express. There's also a definite Spielbergian feel to the film, yet sometimes I wish the characters would break out of animation and become live action. It's a passably enjoyable romp, but for a 3D film it feels very two dimensional and not particularly memorable. I would certainly expect something of a higher standard from Spielberg. After all, he's supposed to be the greatest director of all time...Posted 19:46 | Mon 24th Oct 2011
"Anal Boy Scout" is not a movie for kids.Posted 14:23 | Tue 25th Oct 2011
rottentomatoes.com has given it score of 89 for critics and 87 for viewers which ranks highly . could it be that entertainment.ie is being very harsh on this family movie to balance out the ludicrous 4.5 stars it gave tinker taylor soldier garbage ?Posted 17:50 | Thu 27th Oct 2011
Tinker tailor was an excellent, virtually flawless film Jack Brown. Tin Tin is a simple family yarn whos major flaw is that we should expect more from Spielberg.Posted 10:36 | Fri 28th Oct 2011
Just brought a group of 8 year old boys to see Tin Tin for my son's birthday party and they all thoroughly enjoyed it as did my husband and I. The kids never lost concentration for a second and loved it!Posted 16:49 | Sat 29th Oct 2011
Loved it! A visually stunning movie, fast paced and loads of fun! I've laughed less at so called comedies, and the CGI is so photoreal that despite the cartoon style of the characters you occasionally forget that you're not watching a live action film. The way action-adventure movies are supposed to be! The only way you couldn't enjoy this film is if you don't understand what fun is!Posted 19:38 | Sat 5th Nov 2011
A life-long fan of the genius of Hergé's original books, I was looking forward to this film since it was announced. I was, thankfully, not disappointed. Spielberg captured the vivid, clean-lined and simple world in which Tintin lives. He has not complicated the simplistic violence that is sometimes necessary in a Tintin plotline: the knocking-off of baddies is not censored for the modern audience. For this alone the film should be applauded. The characters are spot-on, their personalities perfectly depicted. The lack of Snowy's inner dialogue, an element which brought so much to the books, is absent from the film, but understandably so. Had it been incorporated it would certainly create too much of a comic atmosphere to the film. Those who have not read the books, or indeed have done but have forgotten their detail, need not worry about their enjoyment of the film. The strong, clean and well-structured adventure story so true to Hergé's original vision (remember, he chose Spielberg as the director himself) is enough to enthrall even the most cynical of adults or kids. Just remember to check any cynicism at the door!Posted 23:09 | Sun 30th Oct 2011
I cant believe you only gave The Adventures of Tintin only 2 1/2 stars!!! I thought that it was a fantastic movie, lifelike, engaging, full of action. From start to finish it was brilliant, I would go so far as to say that it is my favourite film so far in a long long time. 5 *****!Posted 12:26 | Sat 3rd Dec 2011
Loved it and well worth watching, especially in 3D, i@m a big fan of the comic book and remember the cartoons from years ago...Posted 16:47 | Wed 9th Nov 2011
This movie was next to brilliant, I agree with your idea that you said it expected you know the books and going from the point of view of someone who has read the books, it is amazing! A credit to the writers and to Spielberg and Jackson.Posted 12:59 | Wed 2nd Nov 2011
My husband and I loved this movie, I do not understand why it was given two and half stars? It was visually brilliant, loads of fun and suspense which kept us on our seats and I think it deserves a full five. Recommend this movie to all ages. One just gets lost in another world altogether when watching this movie, I hope we get to see another Tin Tin adventure soon.Posted 14:55 | Mon 21st Nov 2011
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