Monday, 24 October 2011

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)

Running Time: 107 mins
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Toby Jones, Mackensie Crook, Gad Elmaleh
Screenplay: Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish
UK Release Date: 24th October 2011 - UK

Quick Plot: After young journalist Tintin buys a boat at a market he finds that it's a lot more special than he first thought. With his trusted dog Snowy, he embarks on a quest into the mystery of the Secret of the Unicorn.

Review: If a film has glowing signs saying 'Directed by Speilberg' and 'Proudced by Jackson'; you know full well that the film is going to be good. Then with a brilliant lead cast, you know it could be even better than that. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is a whirlwind ride of a film, with excitement persisting throughout, it's pretty much what you expect from those glowing words.
After a stunning title sequence which includes a nice little intro to the man himself and a funky 60s style soundtrack, it's obvious that the film is going to be nice to look at. Parts of the titles and other references in the film's first scene include some of Hergé's original Tintin art, which fans of the comic and TV shows will enjoy. Then, throughout the film I'm sure fans will notice other little references and easter eggs, which have no doubt flew right over my head, but the other people I saw the film with did touch upon it after the viewing. Beautiful 30s Paris is the first location of Tintin, which gives an even better introduction to our protagonist. Straight away I felt happy with Tintin's voice because if you exclude the TV series, Tintin is a mute character who's voice is practically your own or how to invent it to be. I admit I haven't read the comics, but from my experience with seeing images, I feel as if Bell is the perfect Tintin voice choice. Making him British, Tintin has charm in his voice but also sophistication and determination in his flow of words and then the words themselves which is from the minds of the screenplay. Craig's evil character, Ivanovich Sakharine, first features in Tintin earlier than you would think for the baddie of the film and again his voice is ideal. You can tell Craig worked on making Sakharine wicked; and it works. Pal duo Frost and Pegg make a great duo Thompson and Thomson, with a few funny scenes here and there they just about steal a quarter of the laughs. Both are one of the disappointments in the extravagant build up that Tintin has received but this is saved by one very special actor and character. Serkis can never seem to do wrong - I mean, playing one monkey and stealing the whole film is an accomplishment to some, but for Serkis it's just another day. The almost constantly drunk Captain Haddock, is single handily the best part of the film. In my own view, I feel as if the film is greatly casted, but Serkis more because of his obvious connection with Haddock. With the realistic feel the performance capture and 3D let through the screen, it's as if Serkis is fully on screen, being as indulgently fantastic as always. Having the rest of the laughs in the film he is the one character in the film everyone will love, even the kids. The chemistry between Bell and Serkis definitely bounces off one another in their voices and lines and thankfully this helps The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn have a likability factor.
Despite the very believable human feel the character in Tintin possess, it's Tintin's lovable side kick Snowy who will no doubt steal all the fun in the film for the kids and most probably the adults too. With no voice, his actions are enough to cause laughter for the audience. Not only does his very cute appearance attract attention, (the visual effects in film make him look ever so fluffy), but also the devotion to his master, which most of the time gets him out of trouble, makes him especially entertaining.
Even though the script writers are some of the best minds in Britain, I can't help but feel as if it was lacking in a heart warming family kind of way. Although Snowy and Tintin's friendship and Haddock and Tintin's growing friendship is charming, the rest of the film felt as if it was looking for more jokes than was needed
As much as I thoroughly enjoyed watching Tintin, I don't believe this is the ironically epic film of 2011 that everyone will have hoped for. But it's one of the best family, animation, adventure films in a long while and it's utterly exhilarating to watch.

At first glance, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is a different type of film for Speilberg and Jackson, but after seeing 10 minutes of it, you realise it's not that different. Fun, exciting and completely beautiful, Tintin is not the epic 2011 film people would have wished for, instead it is the first film of an anticipated trilogy.


The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn teaser
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  1. YES! It has to be good if you give it 4/5 stars. I'm dying to see it.

  2. my father saw the tv spot and we went bananas! i'm so excited to see this film! :) Your review just increases it.

  3. Thank you both for the comments! :D
    Thank you very much Milton, I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. I'll be interested in knowing what you think after!


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