The Adventures of Tintin
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
I know this isn't the type of film I would usually review, and at this point I won't, but rather give some quick thoughts on it since I just saw it at the drive-in theater the other night. After being pretty much blown away by it and going in with very little expectations, I just wanted to quickly convey what a truly great and impressive film The Adventures of Tintin truly is. I can't remember the last time I paid to go see a film and be as entertained as I was by this one.
I'm not a big fan of the whole "motion-capture" thing. For the most part, I feel it's totally unnecessary when they try to make them look as human as possible. I feel that if they're going to go that far, then why not just actually film it live action instead of motion-capture? Case in point, the Zemeckis produced Mars Needs Moms. All in all, it wasn't a terrible film, but surely didn't need to be shot in motion-capture to convey the same look and feel for a film about a kid who goes to Mars. It just didn't make any sense to me why they decided to go that route at that expense. Did they really need to use motion-capture for that one instead of just going full on CGI like all the other CGI family films? And I know Robert Zemeckis has been it's biggest champion, but I still haven't seen a film he's done or produced with the motion-capture technology that actually impressed me. And to this day, when they try to make the characters look as human as possible, so far nobody has ever been able to make the eyes look right. It's all in the eyes, and if you can't get that "dead" look out of there eyes then it's just not going to look good. I think Avatar would be the closest to awesome as it's ever gotten.
I would now like to add The Adventures of Tintin to my very short list of great motion-capture films. This one was so much better than what I was expecting it to be, or even what the trailers lead you to believe. Like most Americans, I knew of the character, but that's basically it. Never seen any of the books or anything like that or even knew what Tintin actually does. I knew he was a kid with a dog and did some kind of detective work but didn't know how he get's involved in all these stories and cases. Without knowing anything about the character, you can go into this and be caught up on everything literally in 5 minutes. There's no set up on his backstory or his family or anything like that. You'r immediately thrust into the events that are about to transpire and you pretty much get what he's all about within just a few minutes.
Let me just say that this is an action packed thrill ride from beginning to end and such a blast. And even with the motion-capture look to it, it's a Steven Spielberg film through and through. While most people would use the ability to go crazy with the camera angles with the motion-capture and CGI, and Spielberg does to an extent, he doesn't go overboard as you would expect and retains the classic Spielberg look throughout, and that's honestly the main thing that drew me in. If Steven Spielberg was at the helm, even though it was CGI or motion-capture or what have you, then it was definitely worth checking out.
To me it reminded me of all the best parts of the Indiana Jones series, because that's pretty much how Tintin plays out. Though Tintin would technically be considered a reporter, he most notably comes across more like an adventurer or an explorer because it's just one long adventure after another intercut with an awesome action sequence every 10 minutes.
The entire cast is pretty great and in top form here, but it's really Andy Serkis who steals the show and the guy has proven to be such an impressive "body" of work that it wouldn't surprise me that one day he takes home an Oscar. I also love how the main bad guy eerily resembles Mr. Steven Spielberg himself. Maybe it's a coincidence, but it's incredibly noticeable and awesome at the same time. To see him do all these horrible and villainous things was such a treat.
I'm eager to go check this out again to get the full cinematic experience with the surround sound and all that. Seeing it in a drive-in severely limits your ability to get the best quality possible, so I think another viewing will be in order. And I'm now pretty excited to see the next one in the series, if they do end up making anymore. I know overseas it's done quite well, but here in the states not so much. I hope it does well enough to warrant the planned follow-up by Peter Jackson. That would really be something.