The Adventures of Tintin – Art 2/5 Ent 4/5 Worth 3/5
Like most Americans, I grew up completely unaware of the comic series that inspired this movie, which I’m now to understand has a pretty wild grip on children and former children throughout the world. Accordingly, the distributors bucked the trend and released ‘Tintin’ in the United States later than most other countries. Spielberg, himself apparently unaware of the Tintin series of comic adventures, grew into the idea of doing this film some time ago after someone compared the Indiana Jones movies to Tintin. The adventure genre does indeed have room for both Indy and Tintin, but the latter is quite different. Geared more towards children, it’s a more honest appraisal of the themes and narrative than are the Indy movies. Now watching as an adult without the nostalgic sentiment, I can only think … how drab.
But Tintin is not a bad film. The computer-generated animation is spectacular. Almost life-like, reminiscent of the horrific creepy image floating around the internet of a “human-esque” Homer Simpson, where the contours of cartoon animation match the physics and detail of reality. The movie’s lush and timeless ’30s setting Europe style probably drew Spielberg to the story more than anything else, that’s of course his favorite era, which he’d gladly step into if he were a character in Woody Allen’s recent Midnight In Paris – the golden age when the “Greatest Generation” was put to the test. I don’t find this era worthy of more exploration than we’ve already explored, but luckily Tintin’s adventures take us elsewhere, even to other times.
Some of the voice actors do such a fantastic job, that throughout the movie I thought Haddock (voiced by Andy Serkis of ‘Gollum’ fame) was actually Gerard Butler. None of the shots are very interesting other than the craftsmanship of computer design, but if we give out medals for that then a lot of AutoCAD jockeys deserve some praise. The narrative is straight from the comic book, and aiming towards children, so there really isn’t anything I can speak for there, I’m not a kid and have no idea what kids like these days. But I can only imagine that I’d probably connect to this film like I did Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It’s witty, charming, well-designed and easy fun.