The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

The Adventures of Tintin
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Stephen Moffat, Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish
Based on: Hergé‘s comics
Cast: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Cary Elwes, Toby Jones, Daniel Mays

One day Tintin (Jamie Bell), a young reporter, stumbles upon the model of The Unicorn, a ship that was lost at sea (and with it, the treasure it was carrying). Tintin just thinks it’s nice but when several people immediately try to buy it off him (for outrageous prizes), he is intrigued and starts to investigate. But Mr Sakharine (Daniel Craig) one of the prospective buyers, doesn’t give up easily and even resorts to kidnapping. And so Tintin is whisked away on an adventure, together with the eternally grumpy Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis).

Tintin is a gorgeous looking movie* with a good voice cast. Unfortunately, it is also a Tintin movie.

I suspect that I’m not the target audience of this film, since I never was a Tintin fan. And it’s kind of harsh to judge the movie for bringing all the obnoxious Tintin qualities to the big screen – that’s what most people go to the film for. I’m aware of that. Nevertheless it didn’t help me and my uncontrollable urge to strangle Tintin so he wouldn’t be able to have yet another moment of condescending to the audience by explaining everything to that damn dog.

And that dog has the most conniving grin. It would have been creepy if it wasn’t so annoying (how do you achieve making a dog not cute? Ask the Tintin people).

As I said it’s a beautiful, beautiful film. Especially when it comes to reflections (in mirrors, soap bubbles and whatever else took their fancy) and light, but also the general animation was really wonderful. The cast was really good. (I amazed myself with recognizing Daniel Mays. I hardly ever recognize voices anyway and Daniel Mays is not really that present in my life.)

But in the end, I expected more. Especially from a script written by these people. I know that the clunky exposition is standard for a Tintin story, but I would have liked the film to be better than that. [I also tried not taking it seriously, but somehow I didn’t manage. Maybe because Tintin himself was so freaking earnest.]

Summarising: If you like Tintin, this is probably the most beautiful package for him you’ll get. If you don’t like him, the package probably won’t be enough to actually entertain.

*and it’s completely obvious where J. J. Abrams gets his love for lens flares from.

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