Thursday, December 22, 2011

Movie Review: The Adventures of Tintin (3D)


The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

The Rating and Cautions
Rating: PG (for adventure action violence, some drunkenness and brief smoking)

Violence- A large amount, including gun use, but no blood.
Language- nil unless you count Capt. Haddock's rantings...
Sexuality- none

Also- extreme action and peril, and drinking in excess (but it's Captain Haddock so who's complaining?).

The Credits

Based on the books, "The Secret of the Unicorn" and "The Crab With The Golden Claws" by Hergé. 

The Summary
The young reporter Tintin stumbles on a case of family vengeance, sunken treasure and drunken, hallucinating captains when he buys an antique model ship at a market. He meets Captain Haddock, and helps him discover the secret of an old ship, the Unicorn. But someone else is after the ship.... and the treasure.
Together, Tintin and Haddock fight the villainous Sakharine, encounter the Milanese nightingale Bianca Castiafore, and go on an adventure sure to satisfy old Tintin fans. 

The Director's Take
Need I tell how many times I literally was squealing in the middle of this movie??


Tintin was an absolute treat.

What really sold me was how well they portrayed Tintin. (I mean, yeah, it's Jamie.... but for the vast majority of the movie I sat there in awe thinking, Oh my gosh, it's really Tintin!)  
He totally came to life. He's a pretty, dare I say shallow, character in the books, as in he's not overflowing with personality and little is known about him-- but he totally had personality in the film. He was fantastic.

Needless to say, the technology was fabulous- the entire mo-capped world looked fantastic. If you took the comics and thought, "What would it look like in real life?" Then take a look at the film. It was great. 

They kept pretty accurately to everything: the look, the story (it was definitely a blend of several books, and Calculus was nowhere in sight, but it worked), and the classic Tintin gags per Thomson and Thompson. Even Herge and his art gets a cameo.

The biggest change, I thought, was Haddock's character. I mean, yup, he drank and hallucinated and even told the story of Red Rackham while slashing a sword around the room just like the book, but........ he wasn't quite how I envisioned his character.

The Haddock of the film was a lot more foolish than my memory of the books (and pardon me if my memory has failed some...), gave a motivating speech and burped down a plane's engine. (o_O) In my memory, Haddock of the book was a bit more professional and unless he was extremely drunk, had a clear head on his shoulders. (Am I wrong? I might be wrong...)

Not that I'm objecting, don't mistake me-- I can get used to this bumbling Haddock. But he is probably the most significant change from the comics.

Cinematography: Fabulous. 3D isn't a must, but if definitely adds a little something to the spectacle.
Music: It's John Williams. 'Nuff said. Probably not a score I would listen to outside of the film, but in the film it was perfect, of course.
Editing: Two thumbs up.
Effects: Well.... the whole movie is one big effect now, isn't it?
Plot/Script: Fair, but I would have paced it with a little more breathing space and tried to incorporate the calmer side of the charm found in the books. It was very bambambamgo-go-go-ACTIONACTIONACTIONskreech!skid-stop!credits!!! 

To be fair, though, there were some awesome one-liners. The majority of the lines were pretty hilarious. Very well scripted in terms of dialogue. 

The Cameos (Biblical Application)
Can't say there was much, but Haddock's little inspiring speech was a nice uplifting touch. Not that it was anywhere in character with comic book Haddock...

But anyway, at one point Tintin is ready to give up the case, but Haddock tells him he can't call himself a failure, and if there's a wall, you push through it, and don't let failure defeat you, etc. Which was a nice little reminder to not give up... but that's probably the biggest application I can scrape out of it.

Because the movie, like the books, is just a fun something to just get lost in. 

10 Things I Learned from The Adventures of Tintin:
  1. Sakharine and Haddock would be great at video games. (Don't believe me? See: crane fight sequence in movie.)
  2. Tintin is really, really cute.
  3. Singing really high notes can break bullet proof glass. I had no idea!
  4. Snowy likes sandwiches (and alcoholic drinks, as we all know.).
  5. It is possible to completely lose all reason, and squeal and laugh and act like a maniac in a movie theater. I'm normally a controlled audience member....
  6. The day I watch Titanic I will bawl my eyes out. They are releasing it in theaters again in 3D, and after watching that trailer, the parts from the sinking scene made me want to just sit down and cry.
  7. If you buy a large popcorn or large coke at a Regal cinema you get one free refill :)
  8. No one here in the US knows who Tintin is...... judging by the empty midnight showing my family attended last night. It was sad, my friend.
  9. The Hobbit trailer is way cool in 3D in a theater.
  10. The opening credits of a film can totally sell it. (See: EPIC opening credits of Tintin.)

The Closing Line 
If you're in need of a rip-roaring adventure with plenty of one-liners and silly antics, go check out Tintin. It's high time the States met the boy reporter and his dog. 

If you can, get a hold of a few Tintin comics and give yourself a quick introduction before watching it if you're unfamiliar, because there's a whole dimension of the film that's missed if you don't have the background of the books.

But for those who already know and love the orange-haired reporter with the epic tuft of hair, the Herge "cameo" and the art straight out of the comics will delight, Thomson and Thompson's clueless way of handling matters will be something of an old friend, and the scenes straight from the panels of the books with make them fall in love all over again.

It may not retain the simplicity and calm of the books, but we'll fall in love with the movie for many of the same reasons: a swashbuckling story, a capable, smart young hero, bumbling sidekicks, and excitement that tugs at the adventurous side in all of us. 

And something else, too. 

For one hundred and seven minutes, we're right there with Tintin. We are Tintin. We can handle it; we can beat the bad guys; we are the hero of the day. And that's one thing that made it all the way from the comic page to the silver screen.

As a first Tintin film, I thought it was a brilliant tribute to the books and a great, brand-new Tintin story. I can't wait for the next one.


How's your thirst for adventure?


Meggie said...


My sisters and I cannot wait to go see this! We have read everyone of his comic books almost twice, so nice to read your review... makes it more suspensful until we go and see it for ourselves!


Jake said...

I want to see this SO MUCH. :|

Great review! And yeah, Moffat is really known for his great one-liners. ^_^ Ask anyone who watches Doctor Who. His episodes have some great quips. :)

He also does emotion and meaning very well, but it didn't seem that it completely made it into the film.

This is pure torture, though, not being able to watch it. :|

Farjag said...

I had only the slightest brushes with Tintin in the past, but I caught many of the references, even if I was unaware of the original stories. (Yellow birds flying around a head, anyone?). But yes, first showing Wednesday... and an empty theater. Didn't get to see the Hobbit trailer on the big screen at our theater, though... that was lame :P
Now to the Library to see if I can get my hands on any of Herge's comics!

The Director said...

Thanks y'all :)

So Farjag, did you like the movie?

Farjag said...

Oh, totally! Went to see it with my whole family, and everyone enjoyed it immensely

The Director said...

Oh good! :D

Midee said...

I saw Tintin yesterday with my family in 3D, it was great!
I also saw the Titanic in 3D looks spectacular. I marked April 6 in my school planner for when it comes out. I've been watching that movie since it was on two VHS cassette tapes, now time to see it in 3D!!

P.S. Tintin is really cute ;)

Polka Dot said...

Ahh, it was so good. :) And I was getting weepy with the Titanic trailer, too! I have seen it before, but am hoping to see it in 3D when it comes to theaters. It will be stunning.

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