The Adventures of Tintin
Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig,
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Running Time: 1 hr. 41 min.
MPAA Rating: PG for for adventure action violence,
some drunkenness and brief smoking.
Release Date: December 21st, 2011 (wide)
Reviewed by Chris Swanson
So what do you get when you take the director of The Lord of the Rings movies, the director of the Indiana Jones movies, and the writer/producer for the current series of Doctor Who and give them $135 million to play around with? Turns out you get the best action film Ive seen in ages and what will likely be the Best Animated Film winner at the next Oscar ceremony. The Adventures of Tintin is based on a Belgian comic book that, despite having three years of French in high school, I have no memory of. Im sure I read it at some point, but I was always more of an Asterix kind of guy. So while I cannot comment on the film compared with the comics, I can comment on the film itself and I can say that it was everything Id hoped for.
The story focuses on Tintin (Jamie Bell), aboy, I suppose? Its hard to tell his age for sure, but I get the impression hes supposed to be around sixteen or seventeen? However he lives on his own and has a job as a successful reporter, so perhaps hes just an adult. Anyhow, he buys a model ship, only to find out that certain other people, including a rather sinister-looking man (Daniel Craig), want to get their hands on it. Soon the boat is stolen, and Tintin, along with his faithful dog, Snowy, are kidnapped, and trapped aboard a ship.
With the help of the ships captain (Andy Sirkis), he manages to escape, and winds up in chases involving, at various points, the following vehicles: a cargo ship, a life boat, a seaplane, a motorcycle (that becomes a unicycle), and a hotel (dont ask). This culminates in a sword-fight that uses cranes as swords. It is, to put it mildly, somewhat action-packed. I really cant say enough about the action sequences in this movie, which very much put me in mind of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, only with a better budget.
But like the best Speilberg action movies, it doesnt lose track of the story, which is engaging and enjoyable. All the characters serve a purpose and are fun to watch on screen. Captain Haddock, in particular, was wonderful fun. Andy Serkis continues to prove that he really did get the royal screw-job when he wasnt nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Golum. Jamie Bell is also great as Tintin, who is played somewhat like a younger version of the Doctor, which is no surprise given Moffats involvement.
The film did seem to drag a bit toward the end, and the obvious set-up for a sequel was a bit annoying. On the plus side, regardless of how the film performs here in the
, a sequel is likely, since its already pulled in nearly $240 million overseas.
One final word: if you want to see the film in the theatre, dont knock yourself out to see it in 3D. The 3D effect is ok, and doesnt distract or anything, but I dont know that it really adds anything to the movie. It was well done and all, but like with any 3D, it does dim the screen considerably, and Im sure the film would work just as well in 2D.