Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

More pointless motion capture and, depressingly, from Steven Spielberg. This approach is neither photo-real nor commits fully to being overtly stylised. The resulting look is a charmless halfway-house that beggars the question, why? Live action could have delivered spectacle and a real sense of drama, straight animation could have supplied the magic of the books which this is distinctly lacking.

Young reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell) and his dog Snowy embark on an adventure with Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis). Ivanovich Sakharine (Daniel Craig) is the baddie on their tail. The skills of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Thompson & Thomson) are also ineffectually utilised.

The motion capture technology has a long way to come. As with previous mo-cap efforts, any dialogue spoken doesn’t sit well with the digital character models. The words feel detached, creating an odd, robotic feel. See The Polar Express and Beowulf for other examples. (Or rather, please don’t.) On the subject of dialogue, it’s striking how poor the entire cast are as voice artists. Daniel Craig’s attempt at cut glass brings to mind Ewan Macgregor’s cringey Obi-Wan. And Jamie Bell, not exactly renowned for his vocal ability, makes for a pathetic Tintin.

Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish have delivered a haplessly weak script along with Doctor Who writer-in-chief Stephen Moffat. Script-wise it’s easy to spot the similarities between this and Doctor Who, with its crappy, bland humour. The jokes – poor in the first place - fall flat throughout the entire film. And it’s not entirely the writers’ fault - Spielberg seems to have lost all sense of his famous precision timing. However, it's all very pretty and some of the action is impressive but all very unnecessarily close-up. Wide shots seem to occur only to establish scenes. Along with the extraneous 3D it all makes for a vomit-tastic experience.

Unlike the likes of Raiders of the Lost Ark and ET – to be enjoyed by those of all ages – this is very much a children’s film. Unless you’re taking your kids, avoid.

1 comment:

  1. So I'm a little confused about your views on this film? You think it's the new 'Ishtar'? Or you hate it?