Thanks to Paramount Pictures we had the chance to see director Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s ‘The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn’ before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film – but as usual – no matter what we say; we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because: There is no better critic than yourself!
Based on the characters created by Belgian animator Hergé, ‘The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn’ tells the story of the intrepid boy journalist Tin Tin and his dog Snowy in their quest to discover the mystery of “The Unicorn”, a sixteenth-century three-masted galleon that might be carrying some hidden cargo before it sunk in the sea after a massive battle against a legendary pirate.
The hunt for this treasure will send Tintin into a journey where he will meet an old man, Captain Haddock , who seems to hold a big family secret in his mind. Without knowing who can make Tin Tin join him in finding the secret of the Unicorn, he will have to face many dangerous situations alongside across oceans and deserts.
The first time we heard about a film adaptation for Tin Tin under the direction and production of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, the excitement we felt was huge, excited to see the final product at some stage. With the first images and trailers released, the anticipation was increasing, giving us the idea that it is already an absolute hit even before its released. Now, after seeing the film, we can tell you that most of the expectations were correct. However, despite the fact that there are many marvelous elements in the movie, there is something that is amiss that prevented us to feel the “WOW” factor after leaving the cinema.
In terms of direction, the film is flawless, with Spielberg playing along with one of his favourites comics and with a die-hard Tin Tin as Peter Jackson as a producer with him, the parallel between the film and the comics are amazing with a job more than perfect in terms of design and art direction. It gives the viewers the sensation of being in front of an original Hergé’s comic. Moreover, it even includes a sequence that clearly gives reference to the author where somebody on the street draws a portrait of Tin Tin in the same style as Hergé’s.
The film mixes parts of 3 Tin Tin stories: The Crab With The Golden Claws, The Secret Of The Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure These are perhaps the major issue of the film because it tries to give so many elements at the beginning thus delaying a bit the action and the development of some secondary characters, something that might let the die-hard Tin Tin fans a bit down. However, this will not stop anyone from being totally impressed with the animation of the film, which is so far one of the best ever made for a 3D movie.
The animation is just outstanding, and it draws the lines for a visually gorgeous movie. Moreover, this is the first time Spielberg used the 3D performance-capture technology giving us as a result something new and unique, a kind of a mixture between Toy Story and Live action, with some scenes where you can`t notice that the characters are actually CGI, even if you are aware of the cartoonish style of the movie.
The acting and voicing are also fantastic! Special thanks to the always impressive Andy Serkis, who plays the booze lover Captain Haddock, which even reminded us to Gollum when he says “i need to find my treasure” and obviously with his classic expression: “Blistering barnacles!” .
On the other hand, we have Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) as Tin Tin, Daniel Craig as Ivanovich Sakharine and Simon Peg and Nick Frost as Thompson & Thompson, all of them pushing each character into the next level in great way.
The music score by the great John Williams give another star to this film, with great instrumental tones for each scene, a soundtrack that for sure will be one of the favourites of the year.
The Adventures of Tintin might stand proudly as the first attempt to bring Hergé’s beloved character to the big screen, it has all the necessary elements to make it a hit, with state of the art animation, amazing Indiana Jones’ style action sequences, great cast and a cautious job from the production in order to keep the core elements that made the comic books an icon of the Belgian comic book story.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is due out in Australia next December 26, 2011