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Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews

The Adventures of Tintin (3D) | Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis | Review

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  3_Chicks_Small Jacqueline Monahan

Jacqueline  Monahan

Las Vegas Round The Clock
Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for
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The Adventures of Tintin  (3D) | Jamie Bell | Daniel Craig | Andy Serkis | Review

As a film, it’s amazing to look at and the dog is adorable.  As for the rest, well…

The titular character, from the pen and comic strip of Belgian artist Hergé (Georges Remi, 1907-1983), is a boy-reporter with a funny name and soft-serve hair.  He, along with his dog-sidekick Snowy are onto yet another adventure that takes them to the far corners of the earth.  This time they are sea and air bound, pursuing a hidden scroll, necessary to find a real treasure.  That scroll, one of three, is inside a model ship in faraway North Africa.

Of course the young journalist Tintin (Jamie Bell) is not in it for the money.  He’s accompanied by boozy Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) who rightfully owns the treasure they’re after.  Wherever there’s a hero there’s also an arch nemesis and here it is Sakharine (Daniel Craig) whose ancestor challenged Haddock’s for the treasure resulting in the sinking of the Unicorn, the ship which carried it.  Could the scrolls be some sort of map?

Effects overwhelm the story, which remains on a strictly superficial level, lacking depth, charm, or emotion.  Still, there’s a plane that runs out of fuel, a crash landing in a desert, a sea battle with the pirates, dueling cargo cranes in a European port, narrow escapes, close calls and frenetic action that goes on for so long it is almost boring; not a good sign.  Any plot that exists must be gleaned from a frenzied cocktail of movement (innovative though it might be).

Filmed in motion-capture animation, director Steven Spielberg goes for flash more than substance.  The visuals are impressive but the characters (aside from Snowy, who is adorable) literally go through the motions of the story, many times at much too fast a pace.  The preponderance of technical wonder over story consideration happens frequently in the world of animation, so much so that I’ve named it as the genre Visual Feast, Narrative Famine.

It’s Spielberg’s first animation project, and he’s certainly got the tools, the manpower and the budget (Peter Jackson produced) to do it right and he does – visually.  There is such a thing as too much action – no matter how exciting, tedium usually sets in.  The entire second half of the movie suffers from an over-abundance of excitement.  Sadly, it does not belong to the audience.

Not that The Adventures of Tintin is a bad film, simply an indifferent one, and for a cinema titan like Spielberg, that’s just not good enough.

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