Tuesday, 22 May 2012

'The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn' (2011)

- My memory isn't the way it used to be.
- How was it?
- I can't remember.

If there's one thing Spielberg can do, it's a fun, exciting, action-packed adventure movie. Tintin is essentially Indiana Jones with a sprinkle of film noir, a slice of Pirates of the Caribbean, and a dab of The Golden Compass. The animation is impressively top-notch, and what's great is that it needs to be - this isn't a live action story that just happens to be computerised; the animation lends itself to the story, characters and (most importantly) action out of necessity rather than opportunity.

With action sequences almost lifted straight from Indiana Jones (see the bike/side-car shot above taken from The Last Crusade), you know there's enjoyment to be had, and an abundance of edge-of-your-seat moments. There are also plenty of laughs to be had, mainly in the form of Captain Haddock and dog Snowy, but I feel some of the Thompson and Thompson moments fall a little flat. Yes, they're funny, but they feel old-hat in a film that's refreshingly modern and slick. They're also involved in a rather boring subplot that you expect to lead somewhere bigger, only it doesn't. Remove them completely, and you've got a better film with more time to dedicate to the characters we care about.

The voice acting is, of course, great. Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, and Andy Serkis all do their jobs well and the film avoids dropping in endless numbers of recognisable voices, which prevents "Who is that? Is it Steve Buscemi? It sounds like Steve Buscemi. But I don't think it is. No wait, it is Steve Buscemi! Yep, definitely Steve. I love him, such a great actor. I wish he was in more films. Wait.....what just happened???"

There's a message to be taken away, of course, this film being mainly for the Little Folk. All about heroism, battling on through obstructions, being who you are and whatnot - it's very sweet. Fortunately, the film doesn't play down to the young audience and instead treats them with respect, even dealing with alcoholism (although it doesn't exactly say it's a bad thing).

All in all, Tintin is fun, and compelling from the off. The animation is excellent, the is acting fine, the story itself is slick and straightforward, and there's something for everyone to enjoy. But this film was criminally only recognised at the Oscars for its John Williams score. Blistering barnacles!

Read more of Neil's movie reviews.

1 comment:

Adventures of Tintin said...

So happy the shop is open!! Got some lovely things that sound great-thanks so much!