The film Steven Spielberg has been trying to make, to bring to reality, for 28 long years has finally hit the big screen. Spielberg first became aware of Tintin after the success of the ‘Indiana Jones’ franchise, which led to it being compared to the Belgian series. As a result, the movie mastermind delved into the stacks of Tintin comics available to him and quickly fell in love. Ever since, he’s been waiting to make this movie. First it was going to be live-action, but then 2004’s ‘The Polar Express’, featured such good ‘motion-capture’ technology, that spielberg was persuaded to go down that route instead of the conventional animation techniques. Peter Jackson got on board at this stage, as his company actually does the computer animation for the film. Jackson intends to direct the sequel, with Speilberg and Jackson co-directing for the finale.
The end result of the years of planning and waiting, is a rip-roaring film that can be enjoyed by all ages. Jamie Bell plays (not just voices) the lead role of Tintin, a young journalist, with Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost all providing able support. Out of all the above, for me personally, Craig and Serkis manage to pull of the best performances. Serkis is a master of the technology having been characters of all shapes and sizes, from Gollum to King Kong! He’s also pretty good as a vocal actor too, being the best drunken captain I’ve ever seen in a film. Craig is the devious villain and knows exactly how to play it. At first you aren’t sure if it’s him or not, but as the story progresses the hints get louder and his voice gives him away, still a good, solid performance from ‘Bond’.
Bell may not yet be a Hollywood star, but his performance here, as the star of an emerging franchise, will put his name up in lights, that’s for sure. Pegg & Frost’s detectives Thompson and Thomson, continue the wondeful, flowing chemistry that the duo’s characters have in every film they occupy together. They play to the typical slapstick comedy that is found in ‘family-friendly’ movies, but still manage to shine when it comes to wit. There is a surprising amount of comedy throughout the film, with Captain Haddock, played by Serkis, having the best lines, as the sidekick to the intuitive Tintin, he often seems to be the dunce. Tintin’s faithful companion, Snowy often makes him like a dunce! He’s the ‘smart animal’ in the film, a role occupied by a certain other animated dog….Gromit! I like Snowy as he often reminds me of Gromit, from the ‘Wallace & Gromit’ series.
Characters have brilliant facial expressions, and the ‘dead-eye’ worry, isn’t an issue, although, at times, Tintin seemed to be a little bit basic, in comparison to the other character’s faces. Lighting is brilliant throughout, as it creates huge thunderstorms and brilliant sunny days. The film stays colourful and vibrant throughout, and even with the 30% colour-loss, due to the use of 3D, the colour never drained from the screen, as other films have suffered from. I have no real issues with 3D, other than the extra expense and the colour loss, but it wasn’t really needed, at times it added to the experience, at others there was no need.