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The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicor

A 2011 computer animated film directed by Steven Spielberg based on the comics by Hergé.

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Jackson+Speilberg+Moffat = Glory

  • Dec 21, 2011
Rating:
+3
So what do you get when you take the director of The Lord of the Rings movies, the director of the Indiana Jones movies, and the writer/producer for the current series of Doctor Who and give them $135 million to play around with? Turns out you get the best action film I've seen in ages and what will likely be the Best Animated Film winner at the next Oscar ceremony.

The Adventures of Tintin is based on a Belgian comic book that, despite having three years of French in high school, I have no memory of. I'm sure I read it at some point, but I was always more of an Asterix kind of guy. So while I cannot comment on the film compared with the comics, I can comment on the film itself and I can say that it was everything I'd hoped for.

The story focuses on Tintin (Jamie Bell), a...boy, I suppose? It's hard to tell his age for sure, but I get the impression he's supposed to be around sixteen or seventeen? However he lives on his own and has a job as a successful reporter, so perhaps he's just an adult. Anyhow, he buys a model ship, only to find out that certain other people, including a rather sinister-looking man (Daniel Craig), want to get their hands on it. Soon the boat is stolen, and Tintin, along with his faithful dog, Snowy, are kidnapped, and trapped aboard a ship.

With the help of the ship's captain (Andy Sirkis), he manages to escape, and winds up in chases involving, at various points, the following vehicles: a cargo ship, a life boat, a seaplane, a motorcycle (that becomes a unicycle), and a hotel (don't ask). This culminates in a sword-fight that uses cranes as swords. It is, to put it mildly, somewhat action-packed. I really can't say enough about the action sequences in this movie, which very much put me in mind of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, only with a better budget.

But like the best Speilberg action movies, it doesn't lose track of the story, which is engaging and enjoyable. All the characters serve a purpose and are fun to watch on screen. Captain Haddock, in particular, was wonderful fun. Andy Serkis continues to prove that he really did get the royal screw-job when he wasn't nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Golum. Jamie Bell is also great as Tintin, who is played somewhat like a younger version of the Doctor, which is no surprise given Moffat's involvement.

The film did seem to drag a bit toward the end, and the obvious set-up for a sequel was a bit annoying. On the plus side, regardless of how the film performs here in the USA, a sequel is likely, since it's already pulled in nearly $240 million overseas.

One final word: if you want to see the film in the theatre, don't knock yourself out to see it in 3D. The 3D effect is ok, and doesn't distract or anything, but I don't know that it really adds anything to the movie. It was well done and all, but like with any 3D, it does dim the screen considerably, and I'm sure the film would work just as well in 2D.

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December 29, 2011
Nice review and nice to see you back here!
 
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More The Adventures of Tintin (The ... reviews
review by . December 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Tintin is A Rip-Roaring, Globe-Trekking CGI-Animated High Adventure!
Seems like director Steven Spielberg has been real busy this 2011 holiday season. He has two movies being released this Christmas weekend; “War Horse” and “The Adventures of Tintin”. Since the latter has been released a bit earlier, and I am somewhat familiar with the beloved comic character, I figured I’d go see it first. I remember the stories to be absolutely delightful when I was a kid, reading them from comic strips in Asia (but my memory of it would not be vivid) …
review by . October 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Before his death, Tintin creator, Georges "Hergé" Remi, remarked that Steven Spielberg was, in his opinion, the only director who could ever do the character justice on the big screen. Indeed, Hergé as realised by Spielberg sounds like a tantalising prospect; a match made in heaven. After all, the adventures of a certain whip wielding archaeologist clearly have a great deal in common with Hergé's globetrotting, bequiffed reporter. After seeing The Adventures of …
review by . December 29, 2011
I have never read the comic but I loved the movie - The Adventure of Tintin
I have never read the Tintin comics or the graphic novels, so I was not sure what to expect when I went to see the new movie.  I knew Steven Spielberg was behind the movie, so my expectations were high.  After seeing the movie I now want to check out the comics the movie was based on.  Speilberg has created a very special and well done animated feature.  The CGI effects works perfectly.  The story moves along at a rockets pace.  And I was completely captivated with …
review by . December 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Now that is an adventure!
THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN Written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish Directed by Steven Spielberg Starring Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig   Tintin: How’s your thirst for adventure, Captain? Captain Haddock: Unquenchable, Tintin.   When I was a kid, I abhorred the series of Tintin book. I found them to be tedious and terribly dull. And so when it was announced that the Belgian books would be adapted into a film, I was less than …
review by . December 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Like his Indiana Jones films, Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin is a rip-roaring action adventure that takes many cues from the Saturday matinee serials of yesteryear – equal parts detective story, travelogue, chase film, treasure-hunt fable, buddy comedy, and stunt spectacular. The key difference is that it’s of the junior division. The age of its hero is never given, and yet he looks and sounds no older than sixteen …
review by . March 14, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Very entertaining film
Tintin is a young European journalist who also solves crimes. After buying a model ship, he becomes involved in a mystery about a pirate treasure and finds his life is in danger.      I loved this movie. The motion capture technique is fascinating and so well done. Some characters look cartoonish while others look very real; the scenery is strikingly beautiful. The action-packed story is part pirate swashbuckler and part Indiana Jones adventure; the combination makes for a spectacular …
Quick Tip by . May 18, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
You know, I've said it before and I'll say it again... I'm so sick of slick, shiny, technologically advanced yet soulless 3D animated films. However, despite this begrudging sentiment, I'm really beginning to get excited about this new Tintin film. Right off the bat, you've got Steven Spielberg directing and Peter Jackson producing. Yeah, sure their last few films have been major disappointments (For Spielberg, his past ten or so films have been terribly disappointing. For Jackson, …
About the reviewer
C R Swanson ()
Ranked #25
   I'm an aspiring writer and reviewer. I run a blog, I'm working on a novel and spend my free time reading and playing video games. I also spend waaaaay too much time and money on movies. … more
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Wiki



Originally titled: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, (the U.K. release still has the original title), the film's title was shortened to make it more direct and easy to remember in the worldwide release. The film adapts three of the graphic novels about Tintin and his canine sidekick Snowy.

The Adventures of Tintinfollows the exciting exploits of a young reporter, his dog, a sea captain with a drinking problem, and a couple of bumbling Interpol detectives as they travel from Europe to the Sahara and Morocco in pursuit of a pickpocket, model-ship collectors, and long-lost treasure. Steven Spielberg's and Peter Jackson's long-awaited full-length film, based on the original "Tintin" comics by Hergé, combines the stories "The Secret of the Unicorn," "Red Rackham's Treasure," and "The Crab with the Golden Claws" into a generally fast-paced adventure that feels just a tad too long. The individual stories and the characters Tintin, Snowy, Captain Haddock, and Thompson and Thomson are all quite faithfully represented. The motion-capture animation is similar to that ofPolar Expressand is both fascinating and a bit odd at times. As in the comics themselves, the characters are highly stylized and instantly recognizable, but Tintin's facial expression is eerily stoic and there's a hint of strangeness that's hard to put a finger on. Snowy is delightfully funny to watch, though he is a bit ...
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Details

Director: Steven Spielberg
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Family, Fantasy, Mystery
Release Date: December 21, 2011 (U.S.)
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Edgar Wright, Steven Moffat
Runtime: 107 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Nickelodeon Movies
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