If it's crap ... We'll tell you
The basic story is as follows: a young reporter Tintin (JAMIE BELL) comes across a model ship at a market and, after purchasing it, gets embroiled in an adventure full of excitement and danger. With his faithful dog Snowy and the drunken seadog Captain Haddock (ANDY SERKIS), he sets off to discover the Secret of the Unicorn. The film contains plot threads from Crab With The Golden Claws, Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure, and manages to thread all these stories into one cohesive narrative. The writing is superb and really captures the feeling of the original stories. While many liberties have been taken, all changes are there to serve the story and no unnecessary changes have been made. Also, watch out for the large amount of references to other Tintin stories; they are all over the place, particularly in the stunning opening title sequence.
The acting, while not amazing, does capture the original characters. Tintin himself was always a very bland character, but Jamie Bell gives him enough emotion and character that you want to support him. DANIEL CRAIG is also good as the main villain Sakraine, but not used enough to be truly threatening. SIMON PEGG and NICK FROST are great as bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson, but are not used enough to be fully effective. The real show-stealer is Andy Serkis as Haddock. Serkis has done so many of these mo-cap films now, but he still delivers a great performance and perfectly embodies the character of Haddock.
But the most stunning thing about the movie is its visuals. The movie is an absolute wonder to look at, and features some of the most detailed animation I have ever seen. The animators have found a perfect balance between realistic and cartoony and brings to life the comics better than any live-action version could. Many shots feel like they've been taken right out of the books, and the visuals are improved by the impressive use of 3-D. The cinematography is also stunning, as they take advantage of the mo-cap system by creating shots you could never do in live-action. This is particularly noticeable in a chase near the end of the film that includes a shot that lasts over five minutes, looping between buildings and vehicles in a mind-blowing fashion. John Williams' score is also very good, though it sometimes feels too similar to an Indiana Jones score.
In the end, I had to really think hard to find anything I didn't like about this movie. While I did feel the movie became a bit ridiculous near the end, it is only a minor chink in an otherwise amazing film. STEVEN SPIELBERG and PETER JACKSON were the perfect filmmakers to bring Tintin to the big screen and I hope to see more from the duo. Tintin fans and lovers of adventure films and animation need to see this film at their earliest convinience.
FINAL VERDICT: BETTER THAN SEX!!!!