Written by / 12/11/2011 / No comments / , , , , , , ,

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN

year: 2011 voices: Andy Serkis, Jamie Bell rating: ***1/2


Steven Spielberg’s computer animated adventure about a young boy Tintin, his little white dog Snowy, and an endearingly drunken Captain Haddock might be too much of a good thing – but it’s a good thing nonetheless.

The frantic action is non-stop: from the minute Tintin sees a model ship called THE UNICORN, he’s dead set on buying it. But a few seedy characters want it for themselves and the daring young investigative reporter needs to find out why – all having to do with the lineage of the underdog alcoholic Captain, held hostage at sea by the main antagonist: a greedy yet cunningly classy villain named Sakharine, much like Belloq from Spielberg’s RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, which this movie tries hard to emulate by wielding a constant handing-off of perilous escapades.

The problem is we don’t get to know any of the characters enough (who'd be more interesting if they were actually human) to really care about them, or take part emotionally in their quest: which is too hackneyed to sustain genuine interest, although the dialog sets up each situation well enough and there are a few semi-witty moments by two keystone cops.

But the best scenes involve Haddock, voiced wonderfully by Andy Serkis, recalling his father’s pirate ship battles: the imagery of the tale surrounding the scene as he talks. And the rambunctious Snowy merely provides a peripheral mascot to the action, yet he’s a character worth loving for no other reason than being furry and cute.

As for Tintin, he’s got a heart for adventure but why exactly? Well perhaps it doesn’t matter… If you want two hours of nothing but thrills, this will do it for you. With the constantly moving camera gliding in, out, up and around like a ghost on pep pills, it feels more like producer Peter Jackson’s baby than Spielberg’s. But it’s the John Williams score, and the feeling of being young again, that gives the iconic director his signature throughout. 
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