The Adventure of Tintin 3D, Jamie Bell

<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>

Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg.

It’s nice but with Spielberg, producer Peter Jackson and master motion capture actor Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) I had expected more. But blistering barnacles, I just did not enjoy Tintin.

Okay, so credit to Spielberg for waiting so long to make this film and finally doing it, and doing it differently. He could have gone for live action in 3D but instead he’s used motion capture to create an animated world (like the animation film The Polar Express) to bring alive Belgian cartoonist Hergé’s comic book feel but not copying it exactly.

The Secret of the Unicorn starts with Tintin (Jamie Bell) walking through a flea market with his trusty sidekick doggie Snowy and stumbling across a model ship of the Unicorn, a legendary mast ship mysteriously lost at sea. But of course the artefact contains a hidden secret that some want to kill for. Thus begins Tintin’s first cinematic 3D adventure to find hidden treasure and evade the descendant’s of pirates.

Now, I may not have been a Tintin comic book fan but I did watch the original cartoon series that aired in the 90s, which was quite fun. This film just didn’t get me going. I wanted to like it, I really did. But even though the adventure goes through the motions (literally) I didn’t feel the thrill of the ride. Some very Spielberg elements featured in the film reminded me of the Indiana Jones trilogy (the original, not the horrendous Crystal Skull film with Shia LaBeouf). But the brilliant music and edge-of-the-seat exhilaration of those films seemed to be absent from Tintin.

I found the Thompson Twins (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) thoroughly bland. Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) is okay and Red Rackham/Sakharine voiced by Daniel Craig doesn’t even sound like him. Well not that you really care. The only times I really smiled was when Snowy (Wire Fox Terrier) did something, like saving Tintin from his own bumbling ways. But maybe he just reminds me of my own Jack Russell Terrier, Eddie!

And apparently the film does veer from the original comic book storyline, in case you’re a Tintin fanboy. Oh and I honestly found the 3D to be passable, at least at the theatre I watched it at. And the motion capture isn’t exactly a breakthrough.

If you’re a fan or a kid, you may have a bit of fun but I’d say the people who did love it are a bit afraid of faulting legend Spielberg or Peter Jackson. Hey, they’re only human.

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