Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Adventures of Tintin Review

When I heard this was going to be a motion captured film rather than a live action one, I thought, "oh, great.  They're going to ruin perhaps the best memory of my childhood by making it look like Beowulf."  I'm so glad that motion capture technology has come a long way since 2007.  And we're even more fortunate that, for Tintin, they got the extra clout of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson behind it.  Because when you add those together, you get a film that they took time and spent some money on making it look real.  Don't get me wrong.  There's still some times when motion capture looks like Shrek riding a horse.  But there are times in Tintin where I actually forgot I was watching animation.  it is that detailed.  Some of the action sequences in this film would have actually suffered in a live action environment.  With live action, there's a lot of green screening and adding art in behind the real thing.  So, you often get a picture that looks really out of place.  By making the whole thing a very detailed animation with human movements, the entire set could be set up and done in a way that looks very seamless.  You also get to have Nick Frost and Simon Pegg play twin detectives without having to resort to bad makeup jobs.  And any time you get to have them on the screen together, you get comedy gold.

As far as the story goes, the main shell is there from the book.  They tell the story of The Secret of the Unicorn while adding some Crab With the Golden Claws to allow for the introduction of Captain Haddock.  But the writing team takes it to a new level with added comedy and dialogue and some much more intense action scenes.  My gut reaction to this is to be disappointed because they aren't staying true to a book; especially one that I loved in my childhood (and still love today).  After all, a comic book is basically a story board for a movie.  But, when you think about it, as long as the basics are there like the adventure story, the characters and some of the outlandish outbursts from Haddock, why not let them play around with the action and make it more intense.  It works.  The chase scene through the streets with the falcon had me riveted.

From an acting standpoint, it's hard to tell if it was good or not.  The motion capture cannot get every detail of an actor's gait and movements.  But from a dialogue delivery standpoint, it is very strong.  Not once did anything come off as cheesy.  Some of that may have to do with the context of an adapted comic book but I know I have a lot of eye rolling moments in most of the Marvel and DC movies out there.  The fact that Tintin didn't have that is a testament to very good writing and superb performances from Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig.  I really want to give a lot of praise to Pegg and Frost because I think they are the best comedy duo since Wayne and Shuster.  But they really weren't on screen enough to make or break the film.  I will say, however, that their time on screen did make me laugh out loud every time.

Definitely see it.  If you have the option for no 3D, take that. I didn't think the 3D added anything of real value.  But it is definitely a movie you should see.  Even if you weren't a Tintin fan, it is an entertaining adventure story.

My childhood memories of Tintin are safe.

No comments:

Post a Comment