Wednesday, December 28, 2011
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (Release Date: 12-21-2011)
Based on the famous-everywhere-but-in-the-U.S. writings of Hergé, Tintin is the story of the titular boy-reporter (portrayed through motion-capture technology by Jamie Bell), his trusty dog Snowy, and a model ships that sets them on the course of a globe-trotting adventure. The aforementioned trinket prompts the attention of Sakharine (Daniel Craig), a clearly evil type (Goatee, Spectacles, Walking Cane, Pet Hawk... you get the drill) who eventually kidnaps Tintin, taking him aboard his ship, believing the boy might have knowledge of a precious secret. While onboard, Tintin meets the vessel's former Captain, Archibald Haddock (Andy Serkis), and the two manage to escape the ship, and set off on a quest of their own, Sakharine ever-close behind.
The plot of this movie is a trifle, providing the characters with excuses to go here, and look for that, and it's, 'See you next time!' ending makes it feel even that much more trivial. No, Tintin is not much of a movie in terms of story-line, because the technology on hand seems to be Spielberg's true focus, and, trust me, it'll be yours as well. This is the very first motion capture movie I have ever seen where the human characters didn't look like they had dead souls behind their shallow eyes. That might sound like faint praise, but this is an animation style that people have been toying around with for years now, and Tintin is honestly the very, very first that I've seen where the humans are at least passable as humans. The texture of the film, always a strong-point for this style of animation, is marvelous, the desert dunes, and the endless oceans appearing tactile and lavish. There's even a single-take action shot that traces through an entire crumbling city which is as impressive as any Five minute stretch of film this year. Not unlike this summer's Transformers movie, Tintin is kind of heartless, and can become exhausting with its endless desire for action, but said action is top-notch, and it never forgets to bring the wow.