Adventures of Tintin
Based on the series of comics from Belgian creator Georges Remi; under the pen name of Hergé; The Adventures of Tintin focuses on Tintin, a young boy reporter, who with the help of his faithful dog Snowy, solves crimes all across the globe. I have vague memories of hearing about the Tintin books, but have no recollection of ever having read one; I have seen several of the cartoon adaptations on television lately. After watching the movie, I’m not sure if my foreknowledge was a good thing or not. The story in the film was a combination of the stories “The Secret of the Unicorn”, “Red Rackham’s Treasure”, and “The Crab with the Golden Claws”; all of which I have recently seen (in fact “The Crab with the Golden Claws” was on last night), which did kind of ruin any suspense the film was going to possibly hold for me. I’m undecided if it was just bad luck that I had happened to see those particular episodes; or if I should be a little disappointed, that with a script-writing crew of Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright that the best they could do was to merge several pre-existing stories together. Of course Moffat is rather good at adapting stories and characters previously written by others. Once my favourite Doctor Who writer of the “new series”, I think his writing has “lost a step” now that he has succeeded Russel T. Davies and is overseeing the series. His Sherlock series on the BBC with Benedict Cumberbatch is quite good, but again it is just his twist on someone else’s work. In a way this film almost comes off as a fan made production, with a bunch of friends getting together to make a movie about something they love. The links between the talents involved are rather interesting: from Peter Jackson’s involvement we get Andy Serkis; from Edgar Wright we get Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and from Steven Spielberg we get the green light from Hollywood, and $130 million.
The film was CGI, animated, motion captured, (or whatever name you wish to use to describe the technique), in a manner much like Polar Express. The rendering was very good, and the characters looked real enough, while still maintaining enough of their “cartoon-like” qualities. There was quite a bit of slapstick comedy mixed into the movie, as was the case in the cartoon, and the original books, both by Captain Haddock (Serkis) and the bumbling Interpol detectives, Thompson and Thompson. As I said, the story was adapted from several previous tales, but still held up quite well. The only real complaint I had about the story; aside from my own personal lack of suspense; was that the movie seemed a bit long, and could have done without the extended chase sequences that were added in. I’m not sure if the chases were added in just to show off what the animators and special effects department could do, or if there is some unwritten rule that says you must have a chase….
The Adventures of Tintin was still quite an enjoyable way to pass the night, and there was enough material covered to likely keep all members of the family entertained. Sadly I watched this one alone (again), but I’m certainly thinking of an encore performance and watching it with my boys this coming weekend, though it is Canada Day, so who knows where the road will take us.