The Adventures of Tintin
(PG) Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis
From its charming opening credits and the moment Tintin (voiced by Jamie Bell) and his dog Snowy are seamlessly introduced in a clever nod to the comics, The Adventures of Tintin captures the imagination.
The adventure begins when Tintin purchases a model ship, The Unicorn, for one pound from a market and is almost immediately accosted by two suspicious characters begging to buy it from him. Tintin refuses and is left with an ominous warning. Unperturbed but curious, he takes the ship home and attempts to uncover its mystery, whereupon he is kidnapped by the villainous Ivanovich Sakharine (voiced by an almost unrecognisable Daniel Craig) and taken aboard Captain Haddock’s ship, which Sakharine has commandeered. Tintin and Snowy team up with Haddock (voiced by Andy Serkis) in a race against Sakharine to uncover the mystery of three model ships and the clues inside them.
There’s excitement, mystery and plenty of silliness for the kids, but also some truly funny moments, which is unsurprising considering the screenplay was co-written by Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead). The brilliant Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are perfection as the voices of Thompson and Thomson, the bumbling, incompetent policemen who are more of a hindrance than a help.
Andy Serkis steals the show as the drunken and depressed Captain Haddock, a ridiculous accent and comic timing. With an expressiveness that is second-to-none he manages to evoke sympathy as well as laughter. Serkis is no stranger to motion capture animation, having brought to life the characters Gollum from The Lord of the Rings, King Kong in Peter Jackson’s King Kong and Caesar the ape in the most recent Planet of the Apes in the same way.
Director Steven Spielberg has teamed up with producer Peter Jackson and the Weta Workshop and Digital teams in a winning combination. Whether you are a diehard fan of Belgian cartoonist Hergé’s beloved comics or completely oblivious; there is no doubt that the world of Tintin has been brought to life in a beautiful way. It is incredibly realistic and there is a great attention to detail throughout.
Overall, The Adventures of Tintin is good, old-fashioned entertainment that doesn’t make you think too hard. You won’t get lost along the way but you may find yourself tuning out halfway though some of the lengthier (though brilliantly-directed) action sequences. The flawless CGI atones for a multitude of sins, and if you can suspend your disbelief over some of the more preposterous moments, this is a delightfully entertaining film.