The Adventures of Tintin

29 Apr

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writers: Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish

Stars: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 107 minutes




Spielberg obtained film rights to the Tintin comic books from Herge, their Belgian writer and artist, not long before the author’s death in 1983. The long delay in bringing them to the screen has mainly been the result of Spielberg’s uncertainly of how to make the film(s). He looked at full ‘cartoon’ animation and he looked at live action with actors in prosthetic make-up. That he dismissed those ideas is to everyone’s benefit. This film works very well based upon Peter Jackson’s performance capture technology – real actors performing all of the work against blue screens, but with every move and facial twitch recorded for computer manipulation.

Yes, this film not only advances film-making technology, but it brings Spielberg together with Peter, the Lord of the Rings, Jackson. This is a dream team pairing of two of our best makers of rollicking cinematic adventures. And this Tintin delivers all of the thrills and spills that I expected from the Spielberg-Jackson axis. It is also loyal to the source material that I fairly devoured as a boy. The film retains most of the charm, intrigue and fun of the comic books as the boy reporter falls into an adventure whilst chasing a big story with loyal canine companion Snowy.

Whilst highly satisfied, I do have one or two criticisms of this Tintin adaptation. For a start the Thompson Twins just aren’t funny enough. In the comic books they are splendid fools, but in this film their jokes and pratfalls misfire. There is also a loss of momentum and a sagging of storyline about 60 minutes in, but Herge’s plots, to be fair to Spielberg, were always a bit patchy.

There are some wonderful action sequences in this film on ships, planes, tanks and motorbikes. To that end the film has an Indiana Jones feel to it that has to be one reason Spielberg spotted the source material. Tintin is young, European and a bit of a geek, but he chases down bad guys with a steely determination and a lack of self-regard that is 100% Indy. Jamie Bell as Tintin is pitch perfect and ably supported by the likes of Daniel Craig (as Sakharine), but the film is dominated by Andy Serkis as the drunken Captain Haddock. His performance is superb and it fully justifies the film production choice.

One Response to “The Adventures of Tintin”


  1. Detective Heroes – Tintin « Will Blyton – The Alternative Detective - May 17, 2012

    […] The Adventures of Tintin ( […]

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