The Adventures of Tintin (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

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There will be spoilers ahead, so beware!

With the opening title sequence giving a silhouetted and nostalgic view of Tintin, a hint to the characters, and the kind of action to can expect, I went in with some trepidation that my high expectations would be dashed against the metaphorical rocks of “based upon”, the broad and often bizarre reinterpretation of a beloved childhood memory. I would not say I left disappointed but neither did I leave with a feeling of ecstatic joy. I left with neutrality in my heart, and pondered upon how the relatively small discrepancies between the film and the books had damaged my otherwise gleeful reception.

Perhaps nostalgic is the best single word that can be used to define this film, as it draws on all of the classic elements from the original comic series without really treading any new ground. The atmosphere is almost the same too, except for the excessive use of Captain Haddock’s severe alcoholism as a source of comedy. While it was always a component of the books, there is a feeling of dependence upon it for the comic elements in this film, which is sad, because there is so much more to this character than his love of the sauce. I really enjoyed the witty puns, the cunning villain who didn’t explain the master plan, the bumbling agents of Scotland Yard, and the hero who isn’t the perfect sleuth. All of these aspects, I loved, including how character death was dealt with directly, rather than being unsubtley avoided.

Welp, there's a lense flare, the whole movie is ruined.

The attention to detail in this film really impressed me, and the authenticity of it was amazing to experience as an animated version of the books I loved as a kid. The noses, Snowy doing more than half the work, the occasional crime that is unrelated to the overarching case that our surprisingly sharp-shooting journalist is attempting to explore, all of it felt amazing to me, and yet, there were a few small flaws in this film that felt like nothing more than a flimsy cop-out to pander to the current conventions of film. The ending was a weak buildup to the suggestion of a sequel, and the wild international adventure leading back to square one was a little painful to see as it was so inconsistent with what I remember about the book series.

I was disappointed with how casually Captain Haddock’s drinking was portrayed, even glorified at times considering that this is a PG film. I have to say I would not be happy with my child( if I had any) watching this film unless it had a PG13 rating, not because of the comedic violence or death, but due to the almost careless regularity with which booze, or whiskey bottles, or drunken burps are thrown at the audience as a cheap joke. I normally wouldn’t criticize a film for having alcohol as a major component, but I can’t recall a single action scene where there wasn’t some form of alcohol involved. It was so prolific that I and my wife were making jokes about possible Suntory Whiskey sponsorship.

This is either the villain or someone allergic to the sun who has a penchant for angry birds.

If I had never read any of the Tintin books with childish love in my heart, it would be all too easy to view this film, and see little more than an advert for heavy drinking, which is a terrible thought, but an understandable one. For all the film’s fun loving adventure and authenticity, it feels a little confused, as if it can’t make up its mind between being a nostalgic film for now-adult fans, or a new film made to captivate and entice the minds of a new generation of fans-to-be.

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Posted by Andrew

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  1. The adventure of Tintin is one of the best animation movies of 2011. I really appreciate all of those cast and crew who are related with Tintin. Magnificent animation work and sound compose is totally incredible. My kids are loved to watch this one again and again. Thanks for writing about Tintin movie. 🙂

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