Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin

I'll say more later, but Charlene and I drove to Montreal this past weekend and saw The Adventures of Tintin. It was in French, but having read the books it was based on about three thousand times in my youth definitely helped.

First impressions, not being able to comment on either the voice work or the dialogue:

The animation, in particular the backgrounds, is truly stunning. I also loved the look of Tintin and Snowy and many of the minor characters. Not nuts about Haddock, somehow, but that's something that might come together better with the voicework from Andy Serkis.

It is truly in the spirit of Herge's Tintin. Nothing about it feels modernized, or updated. It maintains the combination of a boy's adventure story mixed with slapstick humor. Critics who say this film has very little complexity and that Tintin, himself, is a flat character, are absolutely right. It's Tintin we're talking about here. They nailed the feel of the books.

The stuff they changed from the books worked well. Smushing The Crab With the Golden Claws into The Secret of the Unicorn was handled nicely, and I really loved how they managed to insert a cameo of Bianca Castafiore into the story, despite her not being in either of those books. Obviously the other big change from the books is the pumped-up Raiders-style action sequences devised by Spielberg. To me they weren't a problem. Herge wrote action tales for kids and I think he would have enjoyed what Spielberg did. And these scenes were pretty great, especially the ridiculous and over-the-top chase sequence through Morocco. You could feel that Spielberg, given the freedom of the technology, was showing off but I prefer the show-offy Spielberg to the sentimental one. There could have been a couple less match-cuts and a few less reflection shots, but these are minor complaints.

I'm looking forward to seeing it again, in 2D and in English. I liked the 3D effects but it's just not that big a deal for me to see something in three dimensions.

More later.

1 comment:

  1. Holy....this rules so much that you guys went up there to see this. I have to admit, I am getting more and more excited for this after hearing people who's opinions I trust coming back and saying good things about it. One question: so, I know this is animated, but I have heard that the action sequences are very much akin to stuff that Spielberg might have devised with "Raiders" or something. Or very much in that spirit? I am asking as someone who is not as familiar (or at all, really beyond superficially) with the source material (average american viewer, I guess you could say)