The Mis – Adventures of Tintin

The Adventures of Tintin full
Haddock and Tintin on a motorcycle

“The Adventures of Tintin” was an interesting movie for me to watch. Let me begin on why this is just being reviewed by me, months after its release.

First off, I’ve had mixed feelings about it. This past December was a busy movie season, so honestly “The Adventures of Tintin” was pretty low on my list. I’d seen a few episodes of the also titled “Adventures of Tintin” cartoon series as a kid but was never really able to watch much as I didn’t (and still don’t) have HBO.

That being said, I just didn’t really like the look of it from the trailers. Definitely had some uncanny valley going on, as well as just not being as funny as most (now traditional) Computer Animated movies. But indeed it was on my list of things that I did want to see.

Now I will say that this movie was enjoyable if a bit odd. But it isn’t perfect and has some glaring problems. It is possible that these issues could be in the source material and in the cartoon, but as I’ve only had limited encounters with each, I can’t say for sure.

“The Adventures of Tin Tin” as a property has been around for decades with its first publication in 1929 as comic before getting its own magazine. It has been wildly popular in most of Europe, but hasn’t been as well known in the United States.  So from a foreign box office perspective, it makes total sense for this movie to be made.

The movie “The Adventures of Tintin” started out on a strange but interesting note. My first biggest issue is with title sequence. Yes, its starts off with an odd title sequence. The entire sequence (which seemed to take at least five minutes) seemed to be telling a story of its own. It was very hard to tell if this was supposed to be a previous Tintin adventure (which I wasn’t aware of but perhaps fans of the franchise might) or if it was a complete retelling of the entire movie! The sequence was fun and entertaining, but its real purpose was somewhat unclear.

The movie itself was actually rather fun, with some amazing action sequences (and some not so amazing ones) and some fun comedy. However the action sequences were part of the problem. There were just so many of them! Once the actual action starts, it doesn’t stop. You don’t really get a chance to process everything that is going on or digest the story behind everything. Some of the action just seems so unnecessary as well, culminating in crane fight scene. The entire scene I thought, “This is happening, this is actually happening!” but not in a good way.

Here is an example of part of one of these action sequences

“Tintin” does tend to avoid most uncanny valley issues by merely avoiding showing the eyes at all, except for a few close ups for the signature “Spielberg Face.”

The other big problem that I had with “Tintin” was Captain Haddock apparently being the reincarnation of his ancestor. That in and of itself isn’t a problem, except it wasn’t explained that way. He was supposedly telling a story about his ancestor but reenacts scenes exactly like he was there and recreating said scenes with another past life character. Though why this happens was never really explained but was very confusing.

Haddock is probably one of the better characters in the movie, and it’s a shame that they made him weird in these flashbacks.

All in all, “Tintin” is a fine but flawed movie. This isn’t exactly a children’s movie, as I wouldn’t think it be suitable for kids until eight, perhaps even older. Much of the plot will be over their heads and will wonder what is going on past lots of moving images. However, “The Adventures of Tintin” is a gorgeous movie. Much of what you expect in a Steven Spielberg live action movie is here in a CGI one. But as has been the case with some of his recent movies, the entire experience isn’t quite there as flaws become too apparent in the overall movie.

I give “The Adventures of Tintin” a solid 3 stars out of 5.

The “Spielberg Face.”

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