Tintin is lacking on the big screen

BEING a fan of Tintin from a young age, I couldn’t wait to watch the intrepid journalist and his trusty sidekick Snowy leap from the pages of Hergé’s wonderful comic books to the big screen.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 5th November 2011, 8:34 am

With Steven Spielberg directing and Peter Jackson as producer it seemed a perfect combination for a thrilling hit movie.

But for as much as I enjoyed my experience, donning the 3D glasses and watching Tintin on the big screen, there was something lacking from the film that left me a little disappointed.

The film sees Tintin (Jamie Bell), along with an almost permanently sozzled Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), racing against the Russian villian Ivanovich Sakharine (Daniel Craig) to find a hidden treasure.

The film makes the most sophisticated use yet of motion capture — the same technique used in Beowulf and The Polar Express — to create a world that’s somewhere between live action and cartoon.

Having seen neither of these films, the motion capture took a little getting used to and it took a while to work out which actor was playing which character.

There were times when the characters looked too much like animation, and left me wanting to see the likes of Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig and Simon Pegg on screen.

Certain emotions that the characters were meant to be displayed in their facial features were simply non-existent, and prevented me from becoming totally engrossed in the film.

Tintin looks like he has had botox on top of a face lift.

But what the motion capture did lend itself to was the action scenes.

There’s a breathtaking chase through a Moroccan market-place, a powerful duel between dockyard cranes and an imaginative fantasy sequence in which a galleon seems to sail through the Sahara desert, which were brilliant.

For all that the motion capture brings and the brilliance of the film’s visual side, there is something lacking from the film.

Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish have done a merely mediocre job of amalgamating three Tintin stories — The Crab With The Golden Claws, The Secret Of The Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure.

There simply isn’t enough time invested in the emotional side of the characters which would make you really care for them.

This can be done in an animation film, and Toy Story 3 is a clear example of this.

The action begins when young reporter Tintin visits a market with Snowy.

He buys a model ship and discovers that others desperately want it, too.

His purchase makes him an enemy of the mysterious Ivanovich Sakharine, who is desperate for the model himself.

Tintin’s inquisitive nature soon lands him in the middle of a race against time to discover the secret behind the Unicorn.

Helped by the booze-swigging Captain Haddock and of course Snowy, it is a battle across sea and land to discover the secret.

Combining three stories into one seems to lose an element from each story that made the originals great.

The story isn’t developed enough. While its starts off at a good pace, it suddenly speeds up and then just becomes about action packed sequences and less about the story.

As much as I wanted to love the film, give it a five star rating and rave about it from start to end - I simply can’t.

There are elements missing that made Tintin so endearing to its fans.

A younger audience will love it, but the older generation which loved the original will be sadly left a little disappointed.

Speilberg has created an action adventure film which features Tintin, but not want many fans were wanting - a Tintin film.

By Sam Chetwynd