Tintin not in need of rescue after all

Just back from seeing the Tintin movie, and I have to say I liked it.  That deserves comment because I’ve been looking forward to this movie for a long time and living in fear that they would ruin the property, just like almost every other movie made in the last 15 years has been a disaster.  I’m delighted that I was not let down tonight, because that’s such a novelty.

Now, Tintin purists must be warned: It’s not a direct adaptation of any single Tintin story.  It’s a mashup consisting primarily of The Secret of the Unicorn with significant chunks of The Crab with the Golden Claws, and a handful of characters from other stories make brief appearances too.  But that’s OK.  It works, and canon or not it most certainly is a Tintin adventure.

The characterizations are all bang on, the choice of voice talent is good, and they did a really good job on the face modelling too. (Although a live-action Tintin movie wouldn’t hurt either.)

I think I spotted a few easter eggs.  At the start of the desert sequence there was something in the background that made me think of the latest Uncharted video game – and now that I think of it, the Uncharted series could be said to have taken some adventuring lessons from Tintin.  Also in the train station scene in the intro sequence there is a sign listing some of the places Tintin has been – perhaps hints about upcoming movies?

Speaking of what’s next – we were originally promised three Tintin movies.  I’m going to guess the next one will likely be based on Red Rackham’s Treasure with perhaps bits of The Black Island or Flight 714 thrown in, and the third will have to be Destination Moon plus Explorers on the Moon.  But I’d also like it if they did The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun.

Now, I feel it is my duty as a nerd to find something to nitpick, so here goes.  None of this is in any way irritating enough to color my enjoyment of the movie, but if you haven’t seen it yet I would suggest you stop reading now, go watch the film and then come back and compare notes.

  1. It’s being pushed as a 3D movie. I didn’t have the option to see it in 2D, which annoyed me.  That said, the 3D isn’t bad – most of the time I didn’t even notice it, which means it was done reasonably well.
  2. As some reviewers have noted, they did go a bit overboard on over-the-top action sequences.  Tintin always did have a bit of over-the-top action, but not to this extreme.  I’m told, however, that making it a 3D movie was necessary to get the studio to greenlight production, so obviously they needed some place to showcase the 3D gimmick, and action sequences are tailor-made for that.  I can live with the 3D and the extra action if it was a necessary price to make this film for me.
  3. Captain Haddock’s eyes were a little too close together, the twins a little too chubby, and Nestor’s head too thin depth-wise.  Also the Sultan seemed a bit stiff – I don’t think his animation was mocapped.
  4. I don’t recall Haddock having any specific nationality in the books. In the film they gave him a Scots accent. It works for me, but YMMV.
Overall, I’m quite pleased and looking forward to the next one.