Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

The Adventures of Tintin

Spielberg’s first venture into animation is, well, a sight to see. He turns the Belgian comic character of Tintin into a full blown adventure film hero. This movie is a lot of fun and is also great to look at. Speilberg seems to be going back to his roots here, although working with a whole new medium.

Lets talk about the animation first. I was really impressed with the visual style of this film and the details in the sets, background and props. It really creates a feast for the eyes while creating a very Tintin worthy world. The people in the story are also masterfully designed. They’re cartoony yet realistic at the same time, especially with the eyes and mouths which are usually the big obstacles towards realistic motion capture animatics. The characters here manage to climb their way up from the other side of the uncanny valley.

The story is a pretty solid story used to maintain a mystery adventure film. There is a real ‘treasure hunt’ feeling to the movie, with secret clues and coeds, and the like. Not only is this perfect for a Tintin movie, but its really refreshing to see a classic treasure hunt plot. Filling up this story of Tintin, his dog Snowy, and their new companion Captain Haddock finding the secret of an old pirate ship, are many absurd and unrealistic action sequences (complete with a crane fight!). But somehow it doesn’t matter that these scenes are wildly exaggerated and unbelievable because: a) its an animated film, which inherently allows us to suspend more belief than usual, and b) these scenes are so well directed and so imaginative that you really don’t care about reality and just want to go along for the ride.

There are problems with Tintin which mostly have to do with the bookends of the movie. The story is pretty poorly set up at the beginning and Tintin’s initial motivation is not well explained. The ending is also rather weak and I was actually expecting at least a scene or two more. However, everything in between the middle and the end makes for one great time at the movies.

Rant time!
Now, I saw Tintin in 3D, but this was not by choice. There was no 2D option at the theater, so if I wanted to see it I had to watch in 3D. Grrr. Why does Hollywood seem to be forcing 3D down our throats? From what I can tell, the majority of the movie-going public is really not wowed by 3D and would prefer to see a movie as is. But now we’re not even getting the option of seeing it in 2D. It really feels to me like studio heads and marketers are refusing to accept that movie audiences don’t want 3D.
Am I wrong? Is 3D as popular as they think? are audiences demanding more 3D? Or are movie studios just pretending that we are demanding it so that they can charge more and hope to eventually convince us that this is what we want?

9 Responses to “The Adventures of Tintin”

  1. Great review Ian, I am really glad you liked this one as I hope to see it very soon!

  2. I was hesitant about going to see this movie but your review convinced me. I’ll be going. On the 3D topic, I don’t like it either and choose 2D movies over the 3D version if I’m lucky enough to have the choice at my local theater. I don’t get the “forced enthusiasm” either – hopefully it’ll fizzle eventually…

  3. The movie itself runs a bit long at 127 minutes, but Hugo is worth every minute for the visual feast it provides, and features Scorsese in probably his most delightful and elegant mood ever, especially with all of the beautiful 3-D. Good review.

  4. Oh God, I’m so sorry for that comment! I don’t know why but I thought I was writing a comment for a review on Hugo. I apologize!

  5. Still have not seen it and probably will wait for it to come out on DVD (this way I don’t have to watch it in 3D ;)) I’m not a big fan of 3D either.

  6. My biggest problem with the 3d is that is was Lame. You’re right on that for SURE Ian. I gave it about an 8 out of 10 too… right on!

  7. I’m with you on the 3D thing all the way. I don’t get it. I don’t like having to pay more for the privelage to see it. I would rather there be a bias towards more screenings for 2D and a few for the 3D.

    When I saw Tintin I didn’t “see” the 3D. I don’t believe that 3D is the way forward to make the cinema experience more enjoyable. The film itself should be doing that.

    • Yeah, the 3D didn’t really add a lot. See, the problem now is that filmmakers look at why Avatar worked in 3D, because it was used as an immersive experience rather than a gimmick. So they all try doing the same thing, but it doesn’t work and instead leaves us wondering where the 3D is. I almost wonder if I’d rather have ping pong balls coming at my face so I’d at least notice the 3D.

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