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The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig
Genre: Action | Adventure
All aboard? Or Sinking ship?
Based off the highly popular and influential Georges Rémi comics, Stephen Spielberg’s 3D update of the famed reporters adventures sets to bring new life, and new fans to the series promising eye popping visuals, witty dialogue provided by a master writing team, and some of the most edge of your seat action sequences of the year. The papers are in! Does ‘Tintin’ live up to the hype? Or is this ship sunk?
Director Steven Spielberg kicks off the big screen Tintin trilogy with this computer-animated motion-capture adaptation of Georges Remi's beloved Tintin comic strip. Produced by Spielberg, Peter Jackson, and Kathleen Kennedy, the first installment in the series finds adventure-seeking Belgian reporter Tintin (voiced by Jamie Bell) and surly Captain Haddock (voice of Andy Serkis) racing to recover a powerful artifact that was lost at sea four centuries ago. Meanwhile, the malevolent Red Rackham (voice of Daniel Craig}) is determined to beat them to it. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Toby Jones provide additional voices for a film written by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, and Steven Moffat.
The plotting is perfectly balanced, simple enough so that children won’t be lost but intriguing and fantastical enough so that adults and long time Tintin fans with find themselves grinning with glee. For all intents and purposes, ‘Tintin’ reinvents the adventure film with a myriad of globetrotting, unlikely heros and more than one ship battle. Suffice to say, this film never slows down to catch its breath and it’s all the better for it. The dialogue is brilliantly witty with veterans Moffat, Wright and Cornish proving some of the most sparkling dialogue of the year thus far. Spielberg and co. Have crafted one of the greatest Tin Tin adventures to date and you’d be hard pressed to find anybody who has trouble connecting with this tale, it’s honest, good old fashioned swashbuckling fun that puts the latter Pirates of the Caribbean films to shame.
The characters are superbly written each with their own quirks and foibles and the script takes you to some far off and exotic places. If I have one criticism with the script. It’s that while Cornish, Moffat and Wright are masters of comedy and sharp dialogue...none of them have been able to provide much on an emotional level here, don’t expect waterworks only edge of your seat action. It’s not a huge criticism, in fact while watching it I barely noticed – but don’t be surprised if you end up pining for something extra as the credits are rolling.
I’m going to get a lot of stick for saying this but I have to be honest. Spielberg, for me, hasn’t made a good movie since “Catch Me If You Can”. It’s not that I lost faith in the guy, rather that I grew to expect less of him. ‘Tintin’ is his return to form. He learnt a lot of lessons from the negative reception on ‘Indy 4’ and because of it was able to craft a tight, thrilling action film in the vein of those first three Indy flicks. Its fast paced, cleverly written and there is one action sequence in particular that is likely to blow your socks right off!
The voice acting is top of its class with each and every character cast perfectly. Bell does a superb job at imitating the voice found in the classic Herge animated series while Andy Serkis puts a whole new spin on the character of Captain Haddock. Some of the voice actors are so animated in the way they deliver their lines that it’s near impossible to figure out who they are. In all it’s hard to pick a fault with the acting in this film!
'Tintin’ is a stunning film to behold. While I was never a fan of the Robert Zemeckis style of animation –motion capture never sat right with me for the longest time – here, it’s been perfected. Its all in the eyes and somehow, they got it down to a T. The visuals pop with an unexpected flair and its staggering the amount of action is one stage at one time. Brilliant fight choreography , epic scale and eye popping 3D. This is going to be a film you display proudly in your blu-ray collection. Even Williams score is epic and grandiose!
Verdict: This is Swashbuckling cinema at is very finest, putting to shame the likes of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ‘Indy 4’. Tin Tin is a true return to form, both for the adventure genre and its veteran director. Spielberg has crafted a nonstop rollercoaster of thrills; with stunning action set pieces, brilliantly funny voice casting and a writing team to die for. Visually stunning, thrilling, sophisticated, silly, and a whole lot of fun; and for once a children’s film that never panders to its audience. This is one Secret worth unravelling.
+ Brilliantly written by Moffat and co!
+ Top notch voice acting!
+ Plenty of the action sequences will blow you away!
+ This is the swashbuckling adventure that the ‘Pirates’ films promised!
+ Spielberg’s return to form!
- There is a slight emotional disconnect.