“The Adventures of Tintin”
It’s an adventure film – granted, it’s animated – from Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson with a score by the great John Williams! This surely must be worth the watch!
“The Adventures of Tintin” is a ridiculous film that doesn’t even warrant a watch, let alone a review. But in good conscious, I cannot let another person waste their time with this film without at least warning them. It is hard to believe the talent involved in this project and this was the end result? Allow me to elaborate for you.
Here’s the beginning of the plot: a young man (who may be in his teens, but it’s impossible to tell) whose job as a journalist has taken him on many legendary adventures buys a model ship in the market that holds some clue to a mystery. Stop right there! What sort of journalist is he? Does he work for the Enquirer or something? The audience is never told. Tintin lives in a flat all by himself, along with his dog. He collects his own stories and frames them on the walls of his apartment. But how old is he? He could be 17 or 25. Again, we are not told. Tintin buys a model ship and away we go. There’s a mystery here, but the story jumps right into it so fast that there’s no clear telling of what the mystery is. That was frustrating enough, and it only gets worse.
The story moves at a break-neck pace. There’s a side story involving a pickpocket – which Interpol is investigating, for some reason. An FBI agent tries to steer Tintin away from buying the model in the marketplace. Say what??? What year is this taking place in? The Federal Bureau of Investigation? Okay, so we can assume it is after 1935, right? (I know that the original comic books by the artist Herge’ that this film is based on were published in 1941, 1943, and 1944 – but that doesn’t mean that’s when the story is set.) The likelihood of an FBI agent working in Europe in the 1940s is pretty far-fetched (South America, yes). I’m sorry, but I’m a WWII history nut and this story got a great deal of information WRONG.
The villain is some guy named Sakharine who wants the model, but we are not told why. Before you know it, the FBI agent is shot, Tintin is abducted, his miraculous dog manages to save him, he teams up with a drunk sea captain, escapes in a life boat, shots down a sea plane with a single bullet, FIXES the plane, and then crashes into the Sahara. I told you it moved at a break-neck pace! Through all of this adventure, Tintin seems phased by none of it. Better than that, he also doesn’t slow down, stop moving to think, or hesitate on any course of action (no matter how ridiculous it really would be). I know: it’s an adventure so it all has to work out somehow. But this kid is like Superman or a Jedi or something. Seriously! There is a chase sequence through a fictitious port city called Bagghar where Tintin performs acrobatics that are quite similar to the moves of one Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones” during the chase through Coruscant. Is Tintin invincible or something? I didn’t get it.
So, after you are done reading this, you may be scratching your head wondering just what the heck is this film about. What mystery? The answer: some pirate ship and a curse, and the model ships hold clues to the treasure’s location. That’s what I got anyway. The film NEVER slows down. The main character is too perfect to be believed – or even swallowed as a concept. It’s ridiculous, with historical inaccuracies all over the place. I know people will say “it’s a film based on a comic book” or “it’s an adventure story”, but I cannot let it go. Steven Spielberg did his homework for lots of other movies – even some far-fetched ones. Peter Jackson is the same director that obsessed about how the hobbits looked in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. So, I cannot give them a pass here. That’s my beef though.
The rest of the world might object to the character’s depth (the dog is more appealing), the pace of the story (press pause and rewind repeatedly to follow this one), the absurdity of the plot (which never ends by the way), or maybe just the violence and the drinking. I can only say that I wouldn’t waste my time on this film if I were you. You are NOT missing anything if you choose to pass on “the Adventures of Tintin”. The best thing about this movie was the music; John Williams doesn’t do crappy scores. Oh, and here’s some really awful news: this is film #1 in a trilogy. I will pass, and I hope for your sake that you will do the same.
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE