Went and seen the new Tintin movie tonight. It was pretty enjoyable, it ticked all of the boxes for a Spielberg family movie, it was funny, there were exotic locations and plenty of action.
Written, produced and directed by Spielberg’s superstable of talent including Peter Jackson and Spaced’s Edgar Wright.
The movie is based on the Herge book of the same name, with elements of ‘The Crab With The Golden Claws’ thrown in – where Tintin first meets Captain Haddock.
It was literally spot the references to the other books, in the opening titles and throughout the movie.
The characters were well rounded, without ever being too annoying. Jamie Bell’s Tintin was inquisitive and sharp without coming across as a know-it-all. Captain Haddock was captured perfectly by voice chamelion Andy Serkis whose character thankfully didn’t fall foul of the PC brigade and spent most of this film sozzled with alcohol.
Simon Pegg & Nick Frost provided the voice of the Thompson twins and they were in it just enough as not to annoy.
A handful of other classic Tintin characters from the books appeared including Alan – the first mate, Nestor the Butler, Castifiore, Ben Sallam, Red Rackham and of course – Francis Haddock.
The bad guy was played by Daniel Craig and was called Saccharin, based on another character from the Unicorn book.
The CGI was crisp and almost lifelike and at times you forgot you were watching a cartoon.
I don’t like 3D but at least this was made for 3D and this helped the experience, rather than hindered.
The story skipped along quite nicely, with the right blend of intrigue and suspense and when the action kicked in it had Spielberg’s touch all over it – well thought out and intricate, especially when Tintin was trying to catch a hawk which had stolen a map – who kept stealing it back, whilst riding a motorbike and evading a tank.
The film was a PG cert. but didn’t cop out at showing violence, especially where guns, swords and blood were involved but it was all done in a way as not to upset children.
The score was unmistakenable John Williams and at times it felt like I was watching an Indiana Jones movie. This was especially evident during the escape from the Karaboudjan (ship) and the Arabian market place motorbike chase action sequence.
I never pictured Haddock’s voice as Scottis but I suppose it makes sense, taking his love for Scotch Whiskey into account.
Overall, it was 2 hours of good childish popcorn escapism, which I haven’t experienced at the cinema in a long, long time.
The film has received some disproportionate criticism which Spaceman doesn’t agree with. To me it seems to stem from the usual round of book snobs, who berate any movie version of a favoured book.Due mostly to having to skip and roll events and characters up, to fit an average movie running time.
I grew up reading the books and I really enjoyed this film, it doesn’t catch all of the subtle political commentary Herge included in the books, but the kids psychically applauded it in my cinema and it was aimed directly at them.
If they go on and read at least one Herge book then it has done its job, period.
Definately the best film Spaceman has seen at the cinema – this year.
A sequel will be interesting, as like any opening movie it takes up time to introduce the characters, something the second film never has no worry about.