Thursday, June 23, 2016

Movie Review: "The Adventures of Tintin" (2011)

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Movie"The Adventures of Tintin"
Director: Steven Spielberg
Year: 2011
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

At a flea market, a journalist named Tintin (Jamie Bell) buys a model ship of a vessel known as the Unicorn. He becomes the target of a dangerous man named Sakharine (Daniel Craig), who wants the ship for himself. Little does Tintin know, the ship contains a clue to the location of a sunken fortune, which is about to send him on an unexpected adventure across the globe.

"The Adventures of Tintin" is directed by Steven Spielberg and is based on the comic book series of the same name. It is the first and only animated feature to date directed by Spielberg. It revolves around a journalist named Tintin, voiced by Jamie Bell, who unwittingly gets entangled in a dangerous adventure when he buys a model ship at a flea market. Tintin is just a ship enthusiast, but what he doesn't know is that his latest purchase contains a clue that could lead to a long lost sunken treasure. A rather sinister man named Sakharine, voiced by Daniel Craig, is after the treasure and will stop at nothing to get it, even if it means killing those who get in his way. Tintin eventually joins forces with a drunken sea captain named Haddock, voiced Andy Serkis, who is also a descendant of the man who sunk the treasure to begin with. Haddock and Tintin have their work cut out for them and must get to the treasure before Sakharine does, so long as Haddock can stay off the sauce long enough to remember where they are going.

Even though this is an animated film, it doesn't have the same tone or look you typically get from almost any other animated movie. "The Adventures of Tintin" plays out much like any live action adventure film would. We also can't help but notice how similar this movie is to something like Spielberg's "Indiana Jones" movies, even though we know this film takes after the book series, which I grew up reading as a kid. The style of animation has a very realistic look to it, and though it does look pretty cool, the film as whole absolutely doesn't need to be animated. In other comparable animated films, characters like the ones showcased here wind up looking dead eyed and soulless. Luckily, Spielberg is able to breathe a certain level of life into these CGI characters, and luckily so because a lot of what we hoped this movie could have been gets lost in translation. Often in animated films, body proportions and the angles of faces are played with to make characters look more innocent or evil depending on what the characters call for. However, all of the characters here are made to look as human as possible, which begs the question: why not simply make this a live action film and save the money? It's not like animated ventures are any cheaper, and with a reported $135 million dollar price tag, a fairly large scale live action production could have been easily accomplished. With a little digging, we found out that a live action film was Spielberg's original intent, but he was ultimately convinced by Peter Jackson that a motion-capture animated feature would do better justice to the characters and aesthetic found in the comics. We aren't sure we totally agree. We feel as if this could have been just as good if not better as a live action adventure.

"The Adventures of Tintin" is not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it definitely has its faults. It's a pretty solid adventure with a decent story and some good moments of perilous action, but it's still missing some fantastic spark that'd make Tintin pop off the pages of his comics and onto the silver screen. It feels overlong and can get absentminded. Snowy is very underutilized, and we wish he and Tintin both had more defining characteristics to set them apart from any of the other protagonists from Spielberg's repertoire. It's also a bit too silly to me. This is not a complete divergence from the comic book series, but it's obvious that this silliness is implemented in an effort to keep little kids interested, but we're not sure they will be due to its more mature themes and the time it takes to get to its conclusion. You might like this film, but you also might not.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 75%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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