Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

  For those who got excited about this movie because Steven Spielberg is directing...
You will not be disappointed. At all. This is a shining return to top form. Not since Raiders of the Lost Ark has an adventure movie been this much fun.
  For those who got excited about this movie, because they're familiar with the comic strips by Herge, won't be disappointed either. Not in the least. The story unfolds like a 'best of' amalgam of several of Tintin's greatest adventures.  I've read enough to know that all the characters get their due diligence and are brought to life with lots of respect and gusto.

  We need more kinds of these movies. Its action packed and clever enough that the adults trade knowing stares and smiles over the kids sitting between them, and the same kids will get quite the kick out of the humor and high-flying adventure. Its an all around ideal movie.  It brings to mind the Indiana Jones movies, and even ones like The Rocketeer.  The evolving dynamic between the two main characters is priceless and endlessly entertaining to watch. As is the entire movie.

  Its also rare to see a 'sidekick' like Tintin's dog Snowy, done justice.  Most are relegated to menial comic relief, not deserving of any respect. However, Snowy is a vibrant character here that steals the scene on more than a few occasions.  He does a good job as a sidekick too. Tintin is always finding himself in trouble, and his faithful dog is always helping him out.  For those familiar with the character, you know theres still a third party to be seen here that'll round out a very fun dynamic. Captain Haddock. Played by Andy Serkis in another iconic performance, he's the third part of the classic dynamic here.

  I think the story might've been better served by a live action treatment, despite the fact that several of the best scenes in the movie wouldn't have been remotely possible, or at least- plausible, in live action. But, there's a mild disconnect. The computer generated characters are some of the best I've ever seen, but It's still computer effects on display. It's just off enough to be distracting when you least expect it. It brings them to life, but not all the way.

  I won't delve into the story much, or give anything else away but its a really really fun ride that brings to mind classic adventure and high flying fun of the best caliber possible.  I stress that its faithful to its origins and manages to breath life into Tintin in a way even I wasn't expecting. I highly recommend Tintin to people of all ages, its not just a kids movie. Its for anyone looking for some good old fashioned fun and heroics. Not bad at all.  I'd see it again, and again. Its a Spielberg classic for this generation. A return to top form and a flashy one at that.

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