A collaborative effort from Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg featuring performance capture animation and an awesome cast providing the voices sounded and looked more like a blissfully brilliant project than it actually ended up being for me. The skill of two prolific directors- although Spielberg took the reins on this version with Jackson helming the next- is evident in every frame as far as the look and composition of each scene of THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN. However, as technically amazing as the animation and action is here, the scenes in-between the blazing guns and chase sequences are a little less impressive and the overall adventure only occasionally entertaining.
The film is based on a character, Tintin, from a classic comic. Tintin is a reporter that stumbles across a hidden treasure and attempts to track it down with his trusty dog, Snowy and a drunken Captain Haddock. While in pursuit of the treasure Tintin, Snowy and Haddock run into trouble, Sakharine, who is also tracking down the treasure.
I have never read the Tintin comics, but have always been familiar with the name Tintin and his relationship with his dog Snowy and that the property dealt with adventures not unlike what’s featured here in this film. My familiarity or lack thereof does not hinder my ability to at least objectively sit and judge the film on its own merit as a piece of entertainment. For fans or those very familiar with the character I can picture getting a kick out of seeing the characters rendered so beautifully, but everything outside of the action sequences left me in a state of boredom.
Here’s something I can say with the utmost confidence- the animation is stunning, or should I say performance capture with animation pasted over the top of it. Every frame the movie looks beautiful but none more than the action sequences. There are so many gorgeous details that are on display that those sequences become instantly memorable which makes some of the non-action scenes that more frustrating. THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN is worth watching based on the one long continuous action scene through a village where characters are chasing down a piece of paper through various means and it is absolutely spectacular to watch.
The voice actors are all top notch and fit in well with the adventurous nature of the film but also the cartoon aspect of it all. Andy Serkis is great as the stumbling alcoholic Captain Haddock, Daniel Craig as the sniveling villain and Jaime Bell as the wide eyes adventure seeker Tintin. The voices have a talented group of writers penning their dialogue as well in Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish who all have some well received projects in their filmography. The writing excels in the detail behind the scenes though and not as much in the actual development of the adventure itself.
Spielberg handles THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN as expected- with the skill of a veteran director but one with more of an eye on delivering beautiful looking action than interesting story outside of the action. On the spectacular action set pieces alone the film is well worth the ticket price or rental fee. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least that if most people, like me, checked out in between action scenes before planting themselves firmly in their seats when bullets are flying and characters are risking life and limb in pursuit of a sunken treasure. Peter Jackson will be stepping up for the next film and I have little doubt the film will be equally as beautiful- I just hope it improves where this version fell a bit short.
Written By: Luke (@CrummyLuke on Twitter)