Movie Review #355: The Adventures of Tintin

A 2-hour motion capture episode for the fans

Right out of the bat Tintin amazes with a lovable 4-minute opening sequence, giving people a quick introduction of who he is and what he does. For those familiar with the character, it’s a wonderful introduction to an adventure that’s bound to be good. But it’s clear that Steven Spielberg had fans in mind while making this as those who knew nothing about Tintin prior to seeing the movie will scratch their heads and wonder what they went into.

For one thing, the film spends no time introducing the characters and assumes that viewers already know them. You’re rushed into volume 2 and it’s as if you have no other choice but to care about them. And that’s the thing, you’re willingness to enjoy Tintin depends on how much you can connect with the animated characters. But with the 100-minute spectacle entirely in motion capture, it’s a bit hard to overlook the fact that the filming technique tends to make human emotions more artificial, despite how realistic it looks. So if you watch this and don’t give a damn about the cast, don’t worry, I don’t think it will be taken against you.

            Regardless, the animation is stunning and is probably one of the best that’s ever been done. Spielberg can still definitely execute huge and intense action scenes, animated or not. The screenplay is fantastic and the voice cast needs recognition as well. But ultimately, it all boils down to familiarity of the character. I’ve read books about Tintin when I was in grade school, but that doesn’t mean I was swooning when I finally got to see his adventure in the big screen. It’s entertaining, yeah, but it felt more like a special 2011 TV episode than a standalone film.

GRADE: B-

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