Posted by: greercn | October 30, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin

Blistering barnacles! Great thundering typhoons! Steven Spielberg has finally made a new movie that is completely enjoyable from start to finish. “Tintin” takes 3D to a whole new level of beauty and detail. This movie glows with light and texture.

It’s just unbelievably entertaining. Speilberg has become a tad self-indulgent for my tastes in recent years and this return to pure, action/adventure story-telling reminds me of why he is great. You are hurtlling along when you are watching this, at a breathless pace.

I grew up with Tintin comics, loving the Belgian-French originals as much as the fabulous Methuen English translations. I am half Belgian-French, and the English books give a masterclass in how to translate with absolute perfection.

“Tintin” takes “The Secret of the Unicorn” and bits of other books and creates a story that mixes all the iconic images from the books with some new scenes and characters. Snowy the dog looks too terrier-like and loses some of his fluffiness, but the essence of this super-intelligent canine is just right.

Tintin is rather more Jamie Bell than the intrepid boy reporter was in print, but the plus fours and the odd quiff are glorious and present.

As in the stories, Captain Haddock steals the show. As a child, I never thought about Tintin’s breaking and entering as crimes – they were researching a news story – and it certainly didn’t occur to me that I was admiring an old and curmudgeonly alcoholic in my beloved Haddock, but there you are.

Andy Serkis brings a great believability to Haddock’s lines. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as Thompson and Thomson are just terrific. And Kim Stengel’s Bianca Castafiore seems oddly slimmer, but captures the essence of the Milanese nightingale.

When you get close up to hands, ocean, cars, towns and planes, all of the detail is just marvellous. John Williams’ music emphasises the retro feel and the action.

The plot features a search for a sunken treasure, and a great set of scenes with Captain Haddock’s ancestor and the fearsome pirate Red Rackham. Daniel Craig hisses and fizzes as a classic baddie.

All the children at the Stratford Picturehouse said “wow” just as often as I did. The quality of the visual images is just outstanding and utterly engrossing.

I wonder what George Remi, Herge, who wrote the original 23 stories, would make of it? For me, just hearing children laugh so much at such a beautiful and traditional set of characters, all using their catch phrases, provided joy. See it. It’s the perfect antidote to almost all that ails you.

And then go buy a kiddie you like as many of the books as you can afford. If this glorious piece of film-making gets another generation to read the stories, that’s a good result. There’s a movie sequel in the works, so I can look forward to this all over again.



  1. Never liked Tintin as a kid, but can’t wait for this – please tell me, is this going to make up for “Indiana Jones 4”??

    • Thanks for the comment! I think this movie redeems Spielberg’s reputation. Now I have read other reviews, I am really surprised by some of the criticism of “Tintin”. The movie kept my attention all the way through and the action and spirit of the comics are really engaging. The 3D is just gorgeous. However, I am not sure that anything can make up for “Indy 4”.

    • I should have added that the man I went to see this with adores Tintin and thoroughly enjoyed the film.

  2. I didnt seen yet, but my friends all said good review on it.
    i added few quotes from The Adventures of Tintin in my blog. check out :
    “Tintin: What have you done?
    Captain Haddock: I lit a wee fire.
    Tintin: IN A BOAT?!
    Tintin: (after explosion) Well, this is a fine mess.”

  3. You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: