The latest from acclaimed director Stephen Spielberg and adapted from a popular European comic book by Herge, The Adventures of Tintin is a mildly enjoyable motion-capture film, but had potential to be so much better considering the brainpower behind it. When it was announced that Peter Jackson and Stephen Spielberg would be collaborating on an animated film, most people expected an incredible, highly entertaining, epic adventure that would change the way we look at animated films. After all, they are two of the greatest filmmakers today, so naturally expectations for this film were high leading up to its release. What we get instead is a whimsical, often silly adventure that older audiences will have a hard time taking seriously.
The young journalist Tintin embarks on the biggest adventure of his life when he buys an old model of a ship known as the Unicorn at an auction. What he does not realize is that purchasing that model puts him in terrible danger. A ruthless man known as Sakharine wants the ship more than anything else, for he too seeks to uncover the secret behind the Unicorn. He captures Tintin, who, in a chance encounter, meets the one man who can discover the Unicorn’s secret: Haddock. Haddock was also imprisoned by Sakharine, but with Tintin’s help, he escapes from the villain’s clutches and helps the young journalist on his quest.
The voice acting here is phenomenal. Jamie Bell provides the voice of Tintin, and he does a great job bringing the beloved comic book character to life. Andy Serkis voices Captain Haddock, and does a fine job. Serkis has a knack for voice acting, and you can bet this won’t be the last animated film he voice acts in. Daniel Craig voices Sakharine, and pulls off the sinister villain role very well. His honest, convincing performance is probably the most memorable one in the film.
The film begins strongly, but falters about half way through and ends disappointingly. After Tintin and Haddock meet and set out together, it just felt like everything was thrown together. And when the film ends, nothing feels resolved and it is clear that sequels are on the way. Also, the confrontation between Haddock and Sakharine, which also happens to be a vital plot point, is anti-climactic and not nearly as satisfying as the rest of the film hinted it would be. And finally, Tintin himself is a one-dimensional character, portrayed as the stereotypical hero but not really having any flaws or interesting qualities.
Aside from those flaws, this film did have its good aspects. The animation is breathtaking and just beautiful to look at. The many fight scenes are well orchestrated and exciting to watch, and the film itself instills a sense of wonder and adventure in you, making you want to be a part of the quest.
While The Adventures of Tintin is far from perfect, it is still a decent way to kill two hours and will definitely please younger viewers.
3 out of 5 stars