The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

“The Adventures of Tintin” (2011)


the hawk’s point of view

Animation is taking interesting courses these days. Technology is being conquered by creative thinking, and that is giving us new ways to see. I suppose it’s always been like that throughout history.

There are several nice things about this film, I was really pleased with it, in what it does well. First, we have Spielberg back. The good one. There is one S. with an uncontrollable will to entertain, and be clever about it. That’s great, the guy who gave us Indiana Jones, ET, Minority Report, etc. Than, there’s the S. who wants to put his name in the book of serious filmmakers. The guy from Schindler’s list, and the disastrous AI. I don’t like that director. And than you have the million dollar making producer, who sometimes directs what he was only supposed to produce. That’s a business, i’m OK with that one. This film is great in how it revives the 1st Spielberg, the one i’ve grown up loving. He’s here, with no prejudice or failure, brilliant in his visual conception of the grand arch of action. Now, he’s together with Peter Jackson, who’s been building a world of interesting toys for the creation of cinematic visual worlds, something he began doing in LOTR. These 2 guys do fine here.

Than we have Tintin. I’m totally into the books, I know everyone by heart. I don’t have the personality to become a geek about anything, but I do know a lot about the books, its contexts, the author, etc. I understand there will be a number of hardcore fans who will dismiss any changes made to the original stories, as well as the blended elements from several albums. I’m fine with that, because mostly I think the changes were made to favour the visual ideas that were to be fulfilled in the minds of the makers. From the first half-hour or so on, this film is conceived as a succession of grand action sequences. These required different sets. So they include the Karaboudjan bits to take us first to the sea, than to the desert, and finally to the Moroccan city. There we have the less believable sequence of the film in terms of actual physical depictions, but also the one where the possibilities of the virtual eye are more pushed forward as far as this film goes: we have an extended chase sequence, using several transportation mediums, crossing several sets. The character being chased is a hawk, who obviously is free in terms of motion. Vertical space, multiple points of view (he is not grounded), that’s the stuff that makes this sequence, where the camera and edition choose to change stance and pov multiple times, and where the spatial conception of the place reveals to us. I personally would have like to have had more of the hawk’s point of view, but i was pleased. That and the other action sequences are why the film is built as it is.

The first half hour of the film actually looks from another film universe. It’s a tense, noir sequence, of clues and allusions, shadows and mystery. That’s actually much more what Tintin is about, in terms of its dramatic core. He is a character of adventures, but hardly an action figure. I’ll keep this first half hour as what the film should have been about, if there wasn’t a world of visual opportunities to be got from the animation according to WETA.

The need for the 3D, apart from the possible (but arguable) commercial appeal of it, eludes me here. I’d like to review this on a 2D version, just to make sure the 3D brings nothing new to it. And that’s a pity.

Of course there is also a possible line of argument, on whether the visual flat representation of Tintin’s drawings in the comics would be fairly transposed to the screen. I actually think it is, as the dynamics of the drawings are aptly maintained even if using a different visual personality. The old Tintin cartoons that tried the transition to television are far less successful, although they try hard to be like the books.

The initial credits are an incredible bit on their own, Pink Panther like.

My opinion: 4/5 good news, we have a new director called Spielberg back.

This comment on IMDb


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