Friday, December 16, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin review

Spielberg has two films coming out this month and the first one is The Adventures of Tintin. To think, before the month started, all of my interests were mainly on his live-action WWI film War Horse. After seeing The Adventures of Tintin, though, I'm starting to think that this is actually the Spielberg film to see this month. The verdict's still out on War Horse.

The Adventures of Tintin is about as perfect as an animated film can get and it's Steven Spielberg's most entertaining film in over a decade. The beauty of this movie is how easily and seamlessly Spielberg is able to translate his cinematic sensibilities into this motion capture technology. What we get out of The Adventures of Tintin, which I didn't really expect, is a wide array of very interesting characters including a reporter whose likeness feels so real that it's easy to get swept up in the mystery that is the secret of the unicorn. I'm sure a lot of the credit for that has to go to the author of the series.

Trying to wrap your head around the plot of this film can give you a headache, but like any good mystery, there's this continuous web of revelations and discoveries and the mystery is never really over. What I enjoyed most about The Adventures of Tintin is that none of it felt routine and Tintin's genuine interest in solving this mystery involving model ships, scrolls, and hidden treasure made it all the more intriguing to watch. All these things in itself aren't exactly fascinating, but Tintin, as a character, was really easy to buy and get into. He should be as this is his adventure. Still, I was taken aback by just how lifelike he seemed to me. That's why this movie was really easy to get into.

I'm not sure whether it was the technology of the animation or the way the characters are written, and I've read some criticisms of the animation for this film, but I thought they pulled everything off fairly well. Furthermore, Tintin features some of the best action scenes I've ever seen in an animated film including a chase scene involving Tintin, his dog, an eagle, Captain Haddock, and the main villain of the film, Sakharine. What we get from this scene is a dizzying spectacle with characters weaving in and out of scenes and a succession of seemingly random yet carefully thought out events that, at a certain point, seems like it's never going to end. I didn't want it to end, I was enthralled. The fact that it was completely unbelievable actually elevated it for me because it was all so meticulous and captured precisely that following the action really became something to watch.

That's just one of numerous great action scenes in this film that are impressive to watch in an animated film like this and it all felt like Spielberg back to his old self again. Elements of the film really feels like an animated Indiana Jones movie; it certainly is as fun.

The film moves at a very fast pace and at times it's hard to keep up but that's sort of what makes it so fun. It's definitely a must-see for kids everywhere. Now I'm not too incredibly familiar with the Tintin books themselves so I don't know just how closely they stuck to the source material or just how true the characters are as they are portrayed. What I do know is what I saw and I think, judging the film based purely on its own merits, that this is pretty much as good as it gets. To me, it succeeds in everything it tries to succeed at, I got pretty much all I could ask for out of a film like this. Honestly, it's nitpicky to try to find things I didn't like about this film, this is a near-perfect piece of entertainment and may go down as one my favorite films of the year.


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