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May 29, 2012


                  Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Tony Curran, Toby Jones, Gad Elmaleh, Mackenzie Croo, Daniel Mays, Kim Stengel, Joe Starr, Sonje Fortag, Cary Elwes, Phillip Rhys, Ron Bottitta, Mark Ivanir, Sebastian Roche and Sana Etoile.

Directed By:
                         Steven Spielberg.

                One of the two passion projects of Steven Spielberg last year, The Adventures of Tintin is based upon the widely popular and acclaimed comic books and cartoon series. While i anticipated both this and War Horse last year, i was somewhat letdown a little overall considering how epic both of them looked and it felt like specially with the later one, Spielberg will gain that epic filmmaker title back. I still don't think Spielberg is a bad or average filmmaker at all, in fact he is one of my favorites but lately his emphasis is more on the ever changing technology and how it can be used in motion pictures to enhance the movie going experience that is proving a bit heavy on his storytelling ability in a human way. What i mean to say is that even with visual effects and grand film making which he did for years and years, his movies now lacks the touch, the attachment, emotions and well the good ol melodrama. War Horse was suppose to be like that but it was filled with flaws which was covered by a delicious topping of John Williams' score. Coming back to Tintin, yes it is so much better than War Horse in every single way. The visual spectacle was suppose to be this big and it was suppose to reflect back on the original work by Herge. Spielberg doesn't fully achieves that but trust me, he never actually disappoints with this movie. I agree that Herge's attention to detail for every character and the minute things was exceptional, here they look quite human even though they don't fully act like one.

               So this motion capture adventure movie sets off with Tintin played by Jamie Bell who is a young journalist along with his dog Snowy browsing in a market in some European town where they stumble upon model of a wonderful ship, Unicorn its cheap so they buy. But suddenly the evil Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine played by Daniel Craig tries to buy it from him but after repeated trying he isn't able to. A scroll slips from the ship home during a fight between Snowy and some cat and after that Tintin learns that there are two more model ships that seems to be of significant importance since Ivan is so serious about them. Tintin is shot and then abducted by Ivan's people and is imprisoned on a ship where he escapes and meet captain Haddock played by Andy Serkis who is a deep drunk alcoholic. The eventually after a fight escapes in a lifeboat while Ivan sends a plane to capture them which Tintin is able to capture instead and they fly to Bagghar which is a Moroccan city (fictitious) but crashes in the dessert. Haddock tells him a story about his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock due to dehydration and the lack of alcohol while he hallucinates about his ship Unicorn and how evil Red Rackham tried his hand on it but he chose to sink it with a treasure, they heads off to Bagghar in order to find the scrolls and capture Ivan.

                I really enjoyed watching this movie, it was quite adventurous and fun. There were some problems overall that they really ignored which lead to the movie being a bit problematic at certain points while watching. They humor and wit was there and was used effectively, Captain Haddock's character being utterly hilarious and a reason to really laugh and amuse during a adventure movie that isn't suppose to take itself too seriously. The overall playful nature of the movie doesn't take much away from the actual plot but it feels a bit unrealistic, the whole situations concerning with the characters. Not that fictions are suppose to look or feel real but the problem is that they didn't wrote the screenplay quite effectively the few parts it feels a bit out of place, like the writers looses track but than they again gets it which makes the overall flow of movie a bit dull and overdone at different points. The overall look, feel and nature of the movie reminded me of the good ol action adventure movies that we used to have, Spielberg was right when he said he wanted to make a Indiana Jones for children because this actually reminds you of that but still it can't reach the sense of adventure, the effortless humor and the amazingly well done action sequences. The adventures of Tintin had some really wonderfully done sequences like the one in Bagghar where they are first trying to reach the port while chased by Ivan and they Tintin trying to take the scrolls from the Ivan's Eagle which overall feels like a continuous shot in a one take. That is one of the most stunning, suspenseful, jaw dropping and just mindblowing action sequences ever which truly amazes you.

                 The hallucinatory images you see when Haddock is telling the story or the whole desert plane crash scene, the scenes on ship when they fight there way out or when they are close to capture Ivan on the port where cranes and other things are being used. I mean many stunning and superbly looking enjoyable big action sequences that provides it with lots of fun and enjoyment, but those are the only parts where you actually like the movie unfortunately. A bit underdeveloped parts and a few dragged ones makes it a bit uneven. The visual effects were done superb, the cinematography and art direction stunning. This is the motion capture technology at its best used for a animated movie, remember the bad looking Polar Express movie even thought story wise it was touching. Jamie Bell actually looks like Tintin from the comics in a way so he was cast very right. The scene stealer here is Haddock played by the ever wonderful made for motion capture technology acting by God, Andy Serkis. Its not just his expressions that works here but his killer comic timings that proves so effectively like a neurotic Richard Castle from that ABC show Castle. Daniel Craig as Ivan the villain is also good and the other characters were played by the respected actors very well. You are overall going to love this movie because it is very well intended to.

Grade: B-