Tintin and Snowy hot on the trail of a treasure, hampered by many

2012-01-03 00:00

REVIEW:

The Adventures of Tintin

 

STEVEN Spielberg’s most recent film offering finally brings the beloved comic character to life.

Moving from the simple, clean lines of the books, Spielberg takes a risk in changing the format and deviating from the classic style. It is a risk that pays off.

The wholesome, inquisitive Tintin, the drunken, dishevelled Captain Haddock and of course, the feisty canine sidekick, Snowy, are relatable and comical, featuring the voices of Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis (of Lord of the Rings’ Gollum fame) and Daniel Craig as the evil villain, Sakharine. The film manages to steer away from clichés usually found in this film style and often pokes fun at the genre in a tongue in cheek manner.

The adventure begins when Tintin chances upon a detailed model ship for sale at the local market. The ship is unfortunately broken soon after by Snowy’s pursuit of a neighbour’s cat who has trespassed on his turf.

While cleaning up, Tintin discovers a piece of the ship’s mast under a table, containing an ancient scroll hidden in the mast. This is the first of three scrolls he must track down in order to read the completed message.

In his search he is led to Captain Haddock, a descendant of the ship’s original owner, Sir Francis Haddock. Captain Haddock relates the story of his forefather — his ship was attacked by pirates, led by the captain, Red Rackham. The ship was destroyed and the vast treasure on board sank to the bottom of the sea, never to be found again.

Now Tintin, Haddock and Snowy are on the trail of the treasure, hampered by Sakharine, a descendant of Rackham, and his cohorts determined to foil the adventurers in any way possible.

This was a film that was meant to be in 3D. Every moment is planned to perfection and the elaborate chase sequences bring the viewer in on the adrenaline of the chase.

The film has a strong visual style through the clever cinematography and the epic landscapes that form the backdrop to the action. Tintin’s famed magnifying glass is included and ties into the constant use of reflective surfaces in the film to reveal something or someone and create interest and depth within each location.

The main characters are supported by a host of quirky minor characters, a kleptomaniac creating a library of stolen wallets and two inept investigators, Thomson and Thompson, providing humour and support to the main plot line. We can probably expect more screen time of these characters as the film ending is left open, providing space for multiple sequels to come. ****

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