Friday, March 23, 2012

Movie Review: The Adventures of Tintin

My expectation was, that a movie directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson, would be awesome. After all Spielberg who directed Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., and Saving Private Ryan among others, and Jackson who produced the Lord of the Rings films are mega-stars in the movie industry. But Jackson infamously diverged from the storyline in the Lord of the Rings novels incurring much wrath from LOTR's devotees.

Tintin suffers from this same downfall. This is a film with beautiful animation that is true to the look of the comic book characters conceived and drawn by Herge. The credit for this goes to Jackson's WETA firm. Tintin is a fast paced movie, racing from one exciting scene to the next. The chase through Bagghar is exceptionally well done, being both exciting and humourous. But at times, the action is almost overwhelming.

However, those knowledgeable about Tintin, those who have read the books, will be both annoyed and disappointed at the mash-up of Tintin stories that Jackson and Spielberg have morphed into the movie. Tintin the movie, is based primarily on two of Herge's books, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure. There are also scenes in the movie based on parts of The Crab with the Golden Claws. Random characters from other books make appearances while others were removed. Bianca Castafiore, referred to in the film as, The Milanese Nightingale is a character that appears in several other Tintin books. Perhaps the blame can be placed upon screen writer Edgar Wright.

Although this movie is based loosely on Herge's books it will definitely appeal to boys who aren't familiar with the Tintin stories. Its male characters and the strong action element as well as the themes of a treasure hunt and pirates are sure to engage this audience. A warning: there is a prodigious amount of alcohol bandied about in the film as Captain Haddock one of the main characters, can't seem to function without a drink.

For a true flavour of Tintin though, read the books. They are wonderful!

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