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film review: the adventures of tintin

The pairing of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson on a childhood classic has heralded high expectations for The Adventures of Tintin. With actors including Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Jamie Bell and Simon Pegg providing voices and movement for the characters, the bar has been set higher still. Across the board, the cast and crew of this film boast impressive portfolios. The Adventures of Tintin does not disappoint, with the level of craftsmanship and attention to detail nothing less than you’d expect. Spielberg and Jackson have created a respectful homage to the original, but their movie has a personality of its own.

Using motion capture technology, this incarnation of the Tintin story has a physical realism foreign to any previous ones. In spite of this, The Adventures of Tintin has a very cartoony feel. The tricks Tintin uses to outsmart his pursuers defy physics. The outfits are loud and eccentric. Every mystery is somehow really solved by Snowy. The fact this film is three dimensional takes nothing away from the simplicity of the story. In fact, it adds a great deal. Rolling waves, electrical storms and burning pirate ships are all the more spectacular for the updated animation. Without losing any of their exaggerated features, the faces of the characters gain a subtlety of movement that allows for greater empathy. Spielberg and Jackson have utilised all the advantages of their chosen medium, without losing the better qualities of the original.

The Adventures of Tintin is definitely a big screen film. The chase scenes are elaborate, the landscapes vast, but it’s the fight scenes that are truly spectacular. Intricately choreographed, every fight is like a dance. The pirate captain spins and slices. His wide cape sweeps out behind him in flames. Captain Haddock’s ancestor cuts down oil lamps in the gunpowder room. Another pirate snuffs out the trail of powder, sending up sparks with a scuff of his foot.

In terms of story, The Adventures of Tintin is fairly predictable. On a finer level though, there are many wonderful moments. Some are cheeky references to the older Tintin texts, some are nuanced interactions only adults will pick up on. Then there are the gags about Haddock’s drinking and the bumbling police work of Thompson and Thomson, all of which results in a quiet chuckle or a wry smile. For nostalgia or for something to see with kids, The Adventures of Tintin is clever and energetic. Plus, Snowy is pretty adorable.

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  1. Pingback: 2012 Summer Movies to See | Film | Lip Magazine

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