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Monday, December 26, 2011


Steven Spielberg was born to direct animation. He's easily one of the most cinematically creative people of all time, and The Adventures of Tintin is mind-blowing showcase of what movies would look like if Spielberg was not limited to the restrictions of live-action. The Adventures of Tintin is, if nothing else, Steven Spielberg without limits.

The Adventures of Tintin is not perfect but it's so much fun that I don't care much. This movie might be one of the most well-directed movies I've ever seen. I certainly cast my vote for Spielberg when it comes Oscar time. Every single action sequence is jaw-dropping and more fun than you'd ever imagine. The big chase scene is so flawless that you actually feel like you're on a ride at Universal Studios. The Adventures of Tintin might have some of the best action ever. It's no surprise this movie is so much fun - it's a collaboration between three of our generation's greatest storytellers; Spielberg, Peter Jackson and Edgar Wright.

If I were to refer to the visuals in Tintin, as "breathtaking", it would be an understatement. The scenery looks real. The movement is flawless. The lip-syncing is perfect. The lighting and textures are outstanding. Tintin finds its way somewhere between the world of motion-capture and animation, and whatever that middle ground is is absolutely beautiful. I daresay Spielberg's newest achievement might be among the most visually pleasing movies I've ever seen.

Motion-capture cannot work without talented actors. The Adventures of Tintin brings an outstanding cast together. Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Mackenzie Crook, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost all shine. However, it's Daniel Craig that I'm most impressed with. He plays Sakharine in such detail that he completely changes his voice. I would never have guessed it was Craig if I hadn't known. This is what animation needs. Actors who are willing to play the character. Serkis, no newbie to motion-capture, almost tops his performance as Sméagol with his portrayal of Haddock. An extremely powerhouse performance from a well-cast bunch.

Despite perfection piled upon perfection piled upon perfection, I cannot bring myself to give The Adventures of Tintin a perfect 5. The story isn't strong enough. It's riddled with plotholes, and random moments where suspension of disbelief just isn't enough. There are moments - Haddock's speech about failure - that shine as great pieces of writing but there's too many issues to ignore. Most of all - why does Tintin care so much about the events that unfold? Yes he's a reporter, but what Tintin goes through is far above and beyond the call of duty. Tintin suffers from the worst thing that can happen to a character - he has no arc. He learns nothing, and he doesn't grow. This is a rookie mistake by some of our generation's most praised writers, Edgar Wright, Steven Moffat and Joe Cornish. It's a harsh detriment to an otherwise flawless film.

The Adventures of Tintin is absolutely worth seeing. It's the most creative and most exciting action I've seen in a long time. The Adventures of Tintin is blockbuster magic from the director that invented blockbusters back when it didn't matter if sharks looked fake. If he could do it with a shark that looked fake, it's no surprise what he's done with visuals that look real.
4 stars

1 comment:

JC Elizondo said...

Honestly I thought the movie was kinda boring. Sure the animation is gorgeous, and the directing is amazing, only Spielberg could have designed a full action sequence in only one shot (that I will admit was awesome).
But you care soo little for the characters (and even less for the mcguffin treasure) I kinda found it hard to engage in.

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