Average User Score: 7.8Dec 27, 2011I was a longtime fan of the Tintin comics growing up, and was pleasantly surprised to see that no less than Steven Spielberg was going toI was a longtime fan of the Tintin comics growing up, and was pleasantly surprised to see that no less than Steven Spielberg was going to direct the big screen adaptation. I thought the motion capture animation looked like an interesting idea for adding some oomph to the simple-but-charming illustrations of the original material, and I was glad to hear they decided to adapt the Secret of the Unicorn arc, which stands out as one of the best stories in the oeuvre.
Unfortunately, the result was mediocre. Tintin the character is fine as portrayed ("Great snakes!"), but then he was always just the generically heroic straight man who existed mainly to keep the story moving forward. The real charm of the series has always been the supporting players, none more so than the irascible, irrepressible Captain Haddock, and this is where the movie falls short. The Captain in particular is handled just terribly; he's presented as a sloppy, drunken maniac, constantly bouncing off the walls and either bellowing at the top of his lungs or wallowing in sniveling self-pity. They reduce him to a broad comic relief buffoon who is far less entertaining than the character from the books (plus they give him a heavy Scottish brogue, which was absent from his written dialogue). Other than him, the Thomson twins are merely adequate, as is Bianca Castafiore (why they would decide to include her and leave out Professor Calculus I can't imagine). The one character I thought they really handled well was Snowy, who both looks adorable and acts like the Snowy I grew up with.
While I thought the motion capture animation was fine, it bothered me how they kept bending over backwards to create enormous setpieces full of pratfalls and over-the-top destruction. Yes, Tintin gets into his share of scrapes, but he's not James Bond. It's a stretch to have him zipping all over a Middle Eastern city on a motorcycle laying waste with a bazooka and playing chicken with a building-crushing tank. And don't even get me started on the dueling cranes. All of this, plus the fact that they mashed up two distinct Tintin stories for no apparent reason, leads me to suspect the creators didn't have much appreciation for the source material and were just trying to make a generic action-comedy to pack butts into seats.… Expand