Writer: Elaine EweWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Beowulf”, “A Christmas Carol” and “Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull”
With a production team and cast this impressive, "The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn" is either set to succeed or doomed to fail. And succeed it did.
The reviewer is not a reader of "The Adventures Of Tintin" comics by Herge, but this movie certainly gives one the urge to become one. Steven Spielberg's latest outing combines elements from three Tintin stories, "The Crab With The Golden Claws", "The Secret Of The Unicorn", and "Red Rackham's Treasure". The movie depicts Tintin (Bell) and Snowy's first encounter with Captain Haddock (Serkis) after being embroiled in the wicked Sakharine's (Craig) search for an elusive treasure, and Haddock holds the key to the mystery, for the clues are designed by the Captain's ancestor, Sir Francis Haddoque. Together, Tintin and Haddock set out to find it with the occasional help from two bumbling detectives, Detectives Thompson and Thomson (Pegg and Frost) before Sakharine does.
The characterization in the movie is fantastic, although this point is arguable, depending on how avid a fan they are. This is because little background is given about Tintin, and there are moments during the movie that audiences reacted in a way that I did not, which shows there are a few cameos and inside jokes that Spielberg inserted, expecting audiences to read Tintin to some degree. However, I still find the characters to be charming, partly because they look so lifelike, and partly because they are so cartoonish. There is something to be had for watching cartoon characters on screen as opposed to live actors acting stupid or apathetic.
On the other hand, the scripting is a tad weak. The characters may work well being cartoons, but at the same time, cartoon mysteries often leaves something to be desired. There is no shocking twists or morally-profound lessons to be discovered in "The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn", just non-stop, good old fashioned entertainment.
At first I was stumped as to why Spielberg would resort to filming "The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn" using the motion-capture method, as revolutionized by "The Polar Express". The movie probably would have done well in 2D, but after watching it, I am blown away by how realistic everything looks. It borders a little on the freaky side, actually, but nevertheless, it works as Spielberg is able to retain the comical moments of the comics, such as birds flying around the head after being hit, yet maintain a realistic atmosphere for the movie. As Tintin and Haddock stumble from one lavish set-piece to another, it is difficult not to be awed, for the movie has indeed achieved the perfect balance between animation and realism.
Overall, "The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn is a largely faithful adaptation of the source material, with a motion-capture twist, which serves as a worthwhile introduction of the franchise to non-readers. However, young and old fans of Tintin will definitely find a certain glee in watching this movie, just to spot familiar lines, characters, and plot threads.Cinema Online, 04 November 2011