The Adventures of Tintin sticks to the spirit of the original comic-book series
Directed by Steven Spielberg. Featuring the voices of Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, and Simon Pegg. Rated PG.
Thundering typhoons: the news isn’t just good for long-time followers of Europe’s most famous boy reporter; it’s eye-poppingly great, with Tintin making the kind of Hollywood entrance no fan will be disappointed with. Rather than sanitizing things for politically correct North Americans, director Steven Spielberg sticks to the spirit of the original comic-book series as he brings Hergé’s ever intrepid, impeccably coiffed creation to the big screen in The Adventures of Tintin.
Bullets fly with abandon, no-holds-barred brawls break out on a regular basis, and entire exotic locales are destroyed in scenes that would impress Indiana Jones. When was the last time you saw a cartoon character in a mainstream movie staggering around with a vicious case of the DTs? That’s a heads-up that Captain Haddock (voiced by an apoplectic-sounding Andy Serkis) is every bit the foul-tempered, whiskey-obsessed, raving alcoholic that fans of the classic Belgian comic have come to love.
The big thing you’ll be wowed by is the insane amount of detail in the motion-capture animation, from the delicate, rippling peach fuzz on the face of Tintin (Jamie Bell) to the nitro-injected action sequences, the best of which has a battered floatplane flying into a raging electrical storm. At times, The Adventures of Tintin looks more eerily real-life than cartoon.
Hergé purists will be momentarily taken aback at the way the screenplay meshes The Secret of the Unicorn with bits of The Crab With the Golden Claws and Red Rackham’s Treasure. Ultimately, though, Spielberg packs enough fireworks into this powder keg of a treasure-hunt tale that no one will be going home disappointed. Except, that is, those who are convinced there’s nothing funny about cartoon characters being cut down by gunfire, beating the crap out of each other with bottles, and wandering around the desert desperate for a 40-proof drink.
Watch the trailer for The Adventures of Tintin.