HT Schuyler: The Adventures of Tintin Review

Posted: January 4, 2012 by htschuyler in HT Schuyler's Movie Reviews


Rated PG for adventure violence, drunkenness and smoking.

Directed by: Steven Spielberg.

Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and Cary Elwes.

When I first heard about this movie, I was really excited. Not only am I a big fan of Hergé’s brilliant books, but also the fact that it was being directed by Steven Spielberg…and produced by Peter Jackson…and co-written by Edgar Wright…and had an awesome cast. Oh yeah, I was freaking pumped for this movie. The only thing that bugged me was that it was in 3D, but it was a minor set back to what looked like an otherwise amazing film.

The movie starts off with our hero, Tintin (Jamie Bell), in a market where he purchases an authentic model shipped designed after the famous ship “The Unicorn”. As soon as he buys it, he is approached by a man named Ivanovich Sakharine (Daniel Craig). Sakharien tries to buy the ship off Tintin, only for him to decline. And from then on Tintin is caught up in an adventure that takes him to the middle of the ocean, to the desert, to Morocco, where he meets a variety of friends and foes, most notable Captain Archibald Haddock (Andy Serkis) and the two bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson (Nick Frost and Simon Pegg). Tintin discovers that Sakharien is after treasure that belonged to Captain Haddock’s ancestor, only for the film to then be a chase to see who can find the treasure first.

Acting all around is excellent, and there are no weak performances. Everyone does a great job at bringing Hergé’s characters to life, and making them a perfect representation from the comic book. Jamie Bell was perfectly cast as Tintin, and portrays all the elements of the smart, determined and charming reporter, without going over the top or straying from the comics. Andy Serkis is also great as Captain Haddock, playing a great drunk, quick tempered captain who also can be funny and kind when he needs to be. If I didn’t know that it was Daniel Craig playing Sakharine I wouldn’t have recognized him, as he did a great job of straying from his typical hero role and playing the dark villain. Nick Frost and Simon Pegg as also great as the clumsy detectives, and they played the characters exactly as I imagined them from the comic. Even though he was not played by anyone, I also need to give praise to the animation of Snowy, Tintin’s faithful dog, as he played a great sidekick to our hero, and added moments of comedy and comfort to otherwise dark or intense scenes.

The Good:

The animation is simply stunning. Peter Jackson’s effects company Weta was present here, and you can really tell, because everything looks very real, in fact there were scenes that I had to remind myself that the scenery was all animated, it was that good. The only thing that doesn’t look super realistic is the characters, which works in the films favour as it allows them to create accurate representations from the books, and they all fit the roles perfectly. The actions scenes are very well done, and there were plenty edge of your seat moments. The movie moved at a very fast pace, and there was never a dull moment. I was invested in the characters 100% of the time, and was eager to see what was going to happen next. Despite the comedy being a little off at times, the jokes that worked really worked, as there were some very comical moments. Despite the film leaving itself open for a sequel, I felt satisfied with how it all came together, but at the same time was eager for more.

The Bad:

Despite there being some funny scenes, there is a lot of times were it just comes off as annoying. I realized that the two detectives are suppose to be aggravating in their stupidity, but it can be too much at times, and can sometimes take away from the rest of the film. Another problem I had was with the overall story. It’s a combination of a couple Tintin books, but edited in a way to fit the modern movie structure, and it ended up just coming off as predictable. Also, there were times when the movie decided to drop some of the comic’s formulas in favour of a flashy action scene to keep people entertained, and it took away from the feel of the comic. With that in mind, I do know that comics are comics and movies are movies, but it felt disappointing, as everything else about the adaptation was perfect, except for the story. Oh, and the 3D was pointless. Do yourself a favour and don’t waste money on seeing it in 3D, as it does very little to accommodate it.

In Conclusion:

What worked in this movie worked really well, and what didn’t work really stood out. Instead of feeling like a Tintin movie, it felt more like a generic adventure movie with Tintin characters in it. It’s sad, because the set up was perfect, it just didn’t feel as genuine as I’d hoped. All that being said, the movie did so much right. Animation was gorgeous, acting was top notch and it was a perfect visual adaption of Hergé’s comic. Tintin fans may be a little disappointed, but whats done right will keep you invested and overall pleased with the product. This movie also works just as well for people who arn’t familiar with the comics, because though it is predictable, it’s still a damn entertaining adventure that I highly recommend.


  1. Matt Stewart says:

    Looking forward to this one… LOVE the comics.

    Good review!

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