Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, along with seasoned writers Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright, and Joe Cornish, take on the beloved Tintin comics by Hergé. It’s Indiana Jones in many ways, but with a taste of wonder and slight hyperbole seen through a motion capture lens. Its story didn’t blow me away, but its scenes of imaginative action, as well as the attention to detail in the animation, were particularly stunning.
The plot is essentially straight forward, as the adventurous journalist (absolutely an archetype of Indiana Jones) comes across a beautiful model of the ship called The Unicorn. He buys it, and immediately he is deluged with offers to buy the model from him. From that point, the mystery deepens and it becomes clear that this is more than merely a model ship. There is a long history which accompanies the model, and a deep conspiracy which involves both treasure and revenge.
This is one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. The animation was absolutely exquisite and detailed. I could see the peach fuzz on Tintin’s cheeks. One of the things that Spielberg already does well is a chase scene. This entire movie is a chase scene with dozens of smaller chases scattered throughout. Each one is exciting and elaborate; Spielberg and his animators absolutely let themselves go without restrictions to provide a long series of pursuits, each more complex than the last. The characters don’t seem cartoonish, either. They’re just slightly exaggerated from reality. This grounds the film and distances it from simply being a buffoonish cartoon, yet provides the elasticity for it to be a little outrageous at times.
You can tell that the filmmakers just had fun making it, seeing what else they could do–what further thrills they could draw out. It’s not the deepest film, nor is the story particularly compelling, but with every scene I wanted to keep watching just to see what else they would come up with. It was a great ride and a lot of fun.