Thursday, December 22, 2011
The Adventures of Tintin - Movie Review
The Adventures of Tintin is brought to you by both Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson and the letter T (I'm kidding about that last one). Pretty impressive right off the bat, eh? This totally feels like a Spielberg film as far as the story and action. You can see where Jackson's influence came in and his digital effects company, Weta Digital was used for the CG and motion capture. It appears that Jackson intends on directing the sequel and that Spielburg and Jackson will co-direct the third if it gets that far. It's clear from the story, especially with how it ends, that this was intended to setup a sequel or trilogy.
First off, I will say that I know nothing about the original comic book series, The Adventures of Tintin, that this was based on. The movie follows Tintin, a young reporter, and his dog, Snowy. Tintin buys a model of an old sailing ship and then immediately gets several offers from mysterious people to buy it back from him. Tintin isn't interested in selling it though, and comes home soon after to find it stolen. He knows that one of the people that tried to buy it from him, Sakharine (pronounce Saccharine, like the artificial sweetener), is responsible and tries to track him down. Without trying to spoil anything, this leads to a series of events and throws Tintin into the middle of a mystery that he wants to get to the bottom of.
The best way to describe how this movie feels is that you could just say this is a animated, young Indiana Jones adventure. It has that feel almost from the opening moments, and I continued to get that feeling from everything including the locations they were going to, the action sequences, and John Williams soundtrack; which sounded like it was lifted right out of an Indiana Jones movie.
While I'm sure that sounds like a good thing to most of you, and normally it would be, the problem I had is that The Adventures of Tintin felt like an Indiana Jones movie made strictly for kids. Instead of getting nostalgic feelings of old adventure stories that everyone could enjoy, I felt like I was watching a bad cartoon at times. It's mainly because of the really childish humor used throughout the film. I'm really shocked at the level of the humor because Tintin's screenplay was written by some people that are known for much smarter comedy. When I saw the screenplay was written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish during the opening credits, I thought this was just going to be a home run. Instead the script felt more like a lazy single to opposite field. I will say that the kids in the audience really seemed to be responding to the humor, but I don't think I so much as cracked a smile at any attempt at humor made in the movie. It just wasn't aimed at me.
Tintin does feature the best CG-motion capture in just about in any film I've seen, period. There are times where the line between real and CG is really starting to get blurred. Overall, the movie is visually beautiful and very vivid. There are also some fantastic action sequences and those were very entertaining.. There's one sequence about halfway through that felt like a Rube Goldberg machine of insane action. When the scene is over you're practically out of breath. I was amazed at how the action flowed in Tintin.
I did see it in 3D and thought it was just okay. There were times I took my glasses off and could barely tell the difference. However, this is more on the theater where I saw the movie, as the projection wasn't bright enough. It is available on IMAX, so if you do see it in 3D, then that's the format I'd go with. Otherwise, make sure you see it on a screen that you know will be bright enough for 3D.
It features great voice work, and as I've said with other films, despite that it features very recognizable names, you really may only be able to pick out a few voices. I saw names like Andy Serkis, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg in the cast and didn't even know what characters they played until I watched the credits. On the other hand, I recognized Daniel Craig right away.
As I've sated earlier, I really don't think this movie was intended for me. There are moments where it feels like it might be heading in more of an adult-themed direction, but it just never crosses that line. You see Tintin have no issue with picking up a gun and using it, fighting adults and throughout the movie you see people get shot and killed. However, there's barely a hint of blood in the movie and the violence felt very cartoonish.
I'm very torn here. I really wanted to like The Adventures of Tintin, but I ended up feeling like it was just a good kids film. The story didn't really grab me and the humor was too childish. If you have younger kids, take them to see this. They will love it. If you're a huge animation fan, then you'll probably enjoy it on that level. The last group of people I'd recommend this to are people that are super nostalgic for Indiana Jones or just huge Spielberg fans.
I'm actually only going to give this 2.5 Death Stars (out of 5). It's a good matinee with the kids, but I think many of you with nice TVs might be more satisfied if you rented this.