Personally I never have been a too big fan of the whole Tintin franchise. Neither the comics or television series could ever appeal to me and I was never too big on its premise, characters or visual style. I therefore could also never really understand Spielberg's fascination and passion for the franchise. However having seen this movie I can perhaps understand it. The time period and settings are all perfectly adventurous and the movie offers plenty of entertainment.

The way I see it; this movie is a great first introduction of its characters to the world and its showcasing the many possibilities of making Tintin into a long running series of adventurous movies. Potentionaly it really could become a great, quality series, that will offer entertainment to many, for many years to come. As things are looking now, there will be at least two more Tintin movies but why stop after that really? With its motion capture and other computer techniques, the possibilities for the series are literally endless. They could do whatever they want with it and can get as crazy as they want to. Even when the actors will be too old for their roles they could still play them, since the movie and all of its characters come entirely out of the computer.

And yes, the animation is way better than I could had ever anticipated. with one movie, Spielberg succeeds at what Robert Zemeckis has tried to do for years; creating a good- but above all, realistic motion capture movie. The movie is incredibly smooth and wonderful looking, especially with its stunning backgrounds. But also the characters themselves are quite flawless. The way they move around, their expressions, it's all like you're watching a real movie!

This is also thanks to the professionalism of all of its actors. Andy Serkis is of course the go to guy, when it comes down to motion capture acting but with this movie he is once more showing his incredible range and versatility as an actor, playing Captain Haddock. You might not even know its him, since he's speaking with a fat Scottish accent. There are way more actors in this movie that you might not even recognize. Daniel Craig as the main villain, Jamie Bell as Tintin, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as Thomson and Thompson. Would you honestly know it where them, when looking at their performances or listen to their voices? They of course also look nothing like themselves, since they play characters based on well known comic book characters, though eventually in the movie they still like more human than cartoons.

I actually think it was a great move to go for a realistic approach, as far as regarding the movie its look. I always feared that the movie would be far too cartoon like looking, with exaggerated colors and typical cartoon looking characters. But as it turned out, all of the characters are very human looking, with only some slightly exaggerated big noses, which was distinctive for Hergé's, the creator of Tintin, drawing style of its characters. Perhaps the only real still cartoon like looking character in this movie is Snowy the dog.

With its exotic and far off locations, its John Williams musical score, the time period its set in and its many action, this movie does definitely feel like an Indiana Jones movie at times. Especially the action stands out, even though it goes far too over-the-top at times but you could of course 'blame' this on the simple fact that the movie got based on comic books. Spielberg finally even gets to show his love for the good old swashbuckler genre, by throwing a couple of spectacular sequences, involving pirates and some good old fashioned sword fights.

Yet I don't really regard this movie as perfect entertainment, since the story still seems to be lacking a bit. I actually had a hard time following the story and things got quite messy at times. There is not always a good flow to it, though the movie also never starts to get truly bad or boring, or anything like that at all. It's just that a better written, or better constructed way of storytelling, could had improved this movie significantly. Seems they were more focused on getting the technology and looks for the movie right, rather than its story. So who knows, maybe for its sequels the movies will feature a slightly better written and more tight story in it, since they already clearly know how to get the visuals right and know what the possibilities with its technology are.

So it's not the perfect entertaining movie but still a great and promising start to a series, that potentially could become a wonderful- and long running one.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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