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Customer Review

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stunning to look at but too much action, not enough substance, more like 2.5 out of 5, May 26, 2012
This review is from: The Adventures of Tintin (DVD)
Basically this is an action-adventure, animation film depiction of Herge's (belgian cartoonist) brilliant tintin comics which he did between the 30's and the 70's. It takes story lines from a number of different adventures and combines them to try and create relatively new elements to the main story of 'The Secret of the Unicorn'. Our young Journalist Tintin gets involved in an adventure that sees the bad guys trying to get hold of 2 different model tall ships as they contain parchments that reveal the secret. This results in Tintin being kidnapped, meeting his buddy-in-adventure, Captain Haddock, being stranded at sea, then in the desert and ending up in Morocco. There's also flash back sequences to stories of pirates and buccaneers that are integral to the plot. There's a lot of action on the way and some witty dialogue too but the strongest element lies in it's general mystery plot and globe trotting fun.

Tintin the comics were one of the first pieces of writing I ever loved. The adventures were so exotic and he would find himself in countless countries and environments (including the moon), fighting drug dealers and gangsters, making friends with latin revolutionaries and arab sheiks. They were stories with great mystery, suspense and sometimes the super natural thrown in. Now, I know it's difficult to translate the detail of books to film but it can be done. This film, like most, once again does not deliver this well. I mean some of the new ideas and the idea of combining different books into this one story actually works ok but what let's it down is too many 'unrealistic elements' and cheesy moments. I know this is an animation movie but Tintin is also supposed to be a 'more realistic character and subsequently so should the movie. For example, how does he go through a chase sequence where his motorbike explodes, leaving him with the front wheel and handle bars (whilst he's in mid air) which he uses to zip line (the line also appearing conveniently in front of him)? And in terms of cheese, for example, Haddock, having drunk the alcohol to use as emergency fuel, burps into the fuel tank once he's crawled outside the plane and sits on the engine. The fumes from his constant state of inebriation apparently helps fuel the plane just enough to get to land. Once the plane crashes, he then ends up in the still running blades of the plane which spins him comically (apparently) and flings him away, in a Tom and Jerry esk style. Clearly the target audience of this movie is pretty young but the tone of the rest of the film does not go with such a comic style and reduces it's enjoyment for those wanting the film to remain grounded. By all means, have comedy, but keep it witty and interesting like much of the pixar movies or one of my favourites, Rango. In recent years, Spielberg has really let the fans down because like George Lucas, he seems to favour over the top action and cheese instead of intellect and wit. Maybe if the mantle for director was handed to the pixar guys, things may have been a lot better.

As I mentioned, the animation in this is stunning and it's a great medium between real actors and the usual computer graphic animation, which I think is perfect for Tintin. Having turned Tintin and chums British, the casting hosts a lot of talented brits that i think are perfectly cast for their roles. In addition, the script is very adventurous and fun and on the whole the dialogue is good. The first half an hour in particular is enjoyable as you get immersed into the mystery and plot. However, the mindless, uninteresting, over the top and numerous action scenes, as well as the hurried pace, certainly detract from the quality of this film and left me feeling bored and uninterested the longer the film progressed. Ultimately, the best of the movie was, in general, where the script remained more true to the comics. That's why the general plot of the movie is really exciting but let down by the hollywood factor.

Overall, think maybe viewers around 7-13 may enjoy it for the adventure and action but don't think it will hold the attention of older viewers. I would say it was still worth watching for the quality of animation and also if you're a fan of indiana jones type films but don't, at the same time, expect a great might enjoy it more that way. Old tintin fans, you're going to be annoyed but watch it anyway if you like to see Herge's golden boy brought to life.
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