Margaret Perry Movies

Let's Talk Film

The Adventures of Tintin

on 20 J0000001America/Chicago, 2011

When we were kids, my brother and I loved reading the Tin Tin comic books. We were drawn in by the action and mystery of the stories.

The new Steven Spielberg film, The Adventures of Tintin, more or less lives up to the original stories. Unfortunately, the action and speed of the picture overwhelm the mystery itself. The film fails in the first half to grab the audience’s interest with the mystery of the Unicorn. For most of the film, the viewer doesn’t quite remember why we’re so keen to find out more about the ship. The antagonists are not very frightening, mostly because we don’t know why they pose a threat to Tintin or his quest. There are actually very few moments when the audience is scared. Any suspense is spent quickly as the pace of the film keeps moving. Indeed, the movie goes so quickly that one can get caught up in the pace of adventure without remembering the motive behind the action. Or one is simply bored.

Each character lacks the sort of depth that would give the story richness. We know little about Tintin’s background except that he’s a journalist who just happens to be curious about things – not too off the mark from the books. Drunken Captain Haddock‘s personal history is fairly shallow but it provides the only known motivation for the quest of the Unicorn. We don’t know anything about our adversary until the very last scenes of the film.

To be honest, there’s not much to say about this movie. It’s visually enjoyable, especially in 3D and I think it’s the perfect weekend movie for kids who don’t need a reason to be swept away in a simple treasure hunt sort of adventure. The comic relief provided by the two bumbling detectives, Thomson and Thompson, is indeed humorous, if a bit annoying. The kids I took to see the movie loved it, but I wonder if they’d enjoy it as much the second or third time, without the 3D glasses.

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4 responses to “The Adventures of Tintin

  1. Caleb says:

    Hmm, I think you might have missed the incredible freedom of camera placement and movement that Spielberg enjoyed with using CGI – I know I enjoyed it! Also, I think Jamie Bell deserves great credit for voicing TinTin so well, and giving more character to a fairly 2-D role (as you pointed out).

  2. Margaret Perry Movies says:

    I have nothing negative to say about the camera work, to be sure. The special effects in this film filed me with awe. The voices were great, but one of my favorite comedians, Gad Elmaleh, was given such a small part, I couldn’t even pick him out! Part of me thinks that it’s almost a waste of money to invest so much in getting big names to do voices for animated pictures. Unless a voice is particularly unique, it’s not likely that viewers, especially kids, are going to remember that performance.

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