Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Adventures of Tintin 3D

I read many of the Tintin graphic novels (in French) back in my high school days. I loved them, especially appreciating the artwork and the sense of wonder and mystery in the clever convoluted plots. Now here comes a Tintin film directed by Steven Spielberg no less (the director who has more films in my top 150 than any other director). Still, I resisted seeing the film (for a month anyway) for two reasons: 1) it’s in 3D; 2) the animation bears little resemblance to the artwork in the graphic novels. As it turns out, those are my two primary complaints about The Adventures of Tintin, though there is one more major complaint and some minor ones (which I will get to in due course).

The Adventures of Tintin provides exactly what it advertises: a nonstop thrill-ride of pure old-fashioned adventure (like Indiana Jones). The animation is remarkably realistic, which is amazing and beautiful but obviously not aimed at fans of the novels, because, as I said above, it bears little resemblance to the novels’ artwork. Given that the novels’ artwork is key to their brilliance and popularity, this seems both strange and tragic. The 3D only highlights the difference (and you all know what I think of 3D, though, as in Hugo, the 3D was not highlighted in as distracting a manner as I had expected).

If I could set aside the distraction caused by the changes made to the artwork, I would say this is a very well-made animated film with good acting (voices), lots of comedy and lots of action and adventure (though the sense of mystery I was hoping for was barely noticeable). But, alas, I could not stop there. I would have to go on to point out (no doubt risking the exasperation of some readers) that, given the realistic animation style, The Adventures of Tintin has far too much violence for a film aimed at children. I was rather shocked by how quickly and easily Tintin uses a handgun. I suppose that must be the case in the graphic novels as well (I haven’t opened one in at least a decade) but at least there is no feel of realism there. Since I encouraged my children to read Tintin at an early age, I cannot imagine that the novels had the same violent feel as the film. Still, this violence is nowhere near as offensive as it is in the Narnia films (Tintin is, after all, not a child).

So, in spite of all the flaws mentioned above, I am still going to give The Adventures of Tintin a solid *** for providing an enjoyable film-viewing experience. My mug is up.

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