The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

Indiana Jones and the Quiffed Belgian with a dog

Based upon the well loved comic books, Tintin is an intrepid young reporter who will go to far lengths with his dog Snowy for a good story, coming upon high adventure along the way.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, who co-produces with Peter Jackson in a script originally written by Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, which was then rewritten by Edgar Wright and Attack The Block's Joe Cornish. With talent like this, how could The Adventures of Tintin not be brilliant?

The film opens with an opening credits that utilise the style of the comics, to give one of the more entertaining opening credits that you'll see this year. After that, we are given a scene where a street-artist, modeled after the late creator of the Belgium reporter, Hergé, in the style of the original comics, giving us a wonderful nod to Tintin's handover from the page to on-screen.

Tintin makes for a brilliant and likable lead, wielding a gun through many scenes, yet never firing upon any person, instead strategically aiming his shots at items in order to give himself an advantage, be it at a light or at a specific part of an enemy plane. I also found it refreshing how the movie didn't get bogged down in trying to provide an origin story or an explanatory heavy introduction for Tintin, instead just jumping into a point in Tintin's career where he was already an established reporter who had already been on a number of adventures. I found Tintin to be an even better successor to Indiana Jones than Mutt Williams ever was.

Captain Haddock manages to steal the show with any scene he appears in, playing the comic relief drunk who  also manages to provide pretty much the only emotional moment of the film, as he tells Tintin that he knows he'll never live up to the name of his legendary grandfather, therefore drinking to compensate. The selection of voice actors is a brilliant choice, each managing to brilliantly place all of their emotions into their characters through their voices, with Andy Serkis being the standout, but I have to say that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost managed to utilize their friendship well into bringing us the brilliant incompetent duo of Thomson and Thompson.

"Don't even try to make a monkey out of me"

The CGI work utilized to give life to these characters is some of the most impressive animated work I have seen. Every wrinkle on Haddock's face, every single hair on Snowy, they are all impressively made, and none of them are soulless or look dead behind the eyes like the motion captured characters on The Polar Express. The action and chase sequences were some of the best I have seen on-screen this year, as they were breathtaking, showstopping and perfectly executed, delivering a very well done flurry of visuals that only heightened the brilliance that this movie delivered.

Unlike George Lucas, Spielberg doesn't sacrifice style over substance, as he manages to deliver impressive computerized effects along with an engaging story that's well paced and well told, with the mystery behind The Unicorn being intriguing. If I had any criticisms, it'd be that there is virtually no attempt for the film to emotionally register with the characters, which is a big one.

Tintin is perfectly animated in every way possible, well performed by a spot-on voice case, very funny and enjoyable, with a greatly engaging plot and very likable characters who will make you want to come back for a sequel. Just proof that it's not only superheroes who can deliver tremendous comic-book adaptations.


Matt Stewart said…
Perfect score, eh? How do you get those stars at the bottom? I have been trying to do something similar but I cannot figure out how :/

Anyway, great review!
Aditya Gokhale said…
Terrific review!
Tintin and Captain Haddock are my most favourite characters from when I was a small child..
And am surely checking this out.
Tom_Film_Master said…
Splendid review! I take it it is worth seeing then!
James Rodrigues said…
@Matt S I originally copied the star ratings from IGN's film reviews, but their stars didn't go any lower than one star, so I copied one of the ratings and edited it on paint may times to get a whole selection of star ratings.

@Aditya Gokhale I certainly look forward to reading your review on this

@Tom_Film_Master definately, i'd even go as far to declare this film as my favourite of the year
Anonymous said…
Haven't seen this yet, but one look at the trailer made it look like Indiana Jones (as you state). Hope I'll find time to see it before it is out of the cinema.