52 Movies: Week One
Aside from some minor concerns regarding the uncanny valley, I thoroughly enjoyed The Adventures of Tintin and thought it did a great job capturing the spirit of Herge’s comics.
My opinion of the movie may well be biased by the fond memories I have of reading Herge’s comics while curled up on a couch at my grandfather’s house on cold winter days. Tintin comics had everything a young boy could want from a comic — Great characters, lots of humor, illustrations that were both clear and densely packed with detail, and epic adventures on a global scale. There is a reason these comics are as loved world-wide as they are and everyone involved with the movie seems to share that love.
Of course, this can cut both ways. My love of the source material could easily have translated into bitter disappointment so I suppose it is saying something that the movie lived up to my expectations. It helps that the screenplay was co-written by Stephan Moffat (award winning head-writer of Dr Who), Edgar Wright (writer/director of Sean of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs The World) and Joe Cornish (writer/director of Attack The Block, one of my favorite movies from 2011).
I continue to have my reservations about motion capture based animation and, sure enough, the uncanny valley was occasionally a distraction. That having been said, the world the animators created was as lush and full of detail as the comics I loved so much as a kid and the motion capture adds a level of realism to the characters that gives dramatic weight to the movie’s incredible action set pieces.
Many people found those action set pieces to be over the top and ultimately wearisome but I am not one of those people. The advantage of an animated action movie is that you are not bound by the constraints of reality. The Adventures of Tintin uses this advantage to full effect and the extended action sequences are Rube Goldberg-esque exercises in cause and effect, building kinetically to fantastically absurd proportions.
I was going to give the Adventures of Tintin three and a half stars but in the course of writing this review I have talked myself into a four star rating.
I need some sort of catchy button for the end of these reviews. “Keep munching that popcorn!” That’s fucking terrible. I’ll work on that.