5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Justice done to Herge's masterpiece,
This review is from: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
With any transfer of a loved icon from ink and paper to celluloid or bytes, the most common issue is how closely the interpreter follows the style of the artist. Thankfully Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have created a beautiful homage to Herge that maintains the attention to detail and zippy worldliness of the original books whilst scripting it for a modern generation. Everything about this film is done with the ghost of the Belgian cartoonist never far away and it is to their credit that this retains the all-important feel of the comics. Without this, it could not be a Tintin film. Right from the beautiful opening sequence throughout the film, Tintin fans will smile at the incredible level of detail that the directors have brought to the screen.
The story itself is a mix of Herge's Secret Unicorn, Red Rackham's Treasure and more notably the Crab with the Golden Claws, moving from a nameless French/Belgian town to the North African Desert via a ship journey. The centerpiece of the film is the Karaboudjan ship, where Tintin meets Captain Haddock for the first time. He recounts his ancestor's fight with Red Rackham in a series of flashbacks about a naval battle that are beautifully done.
Haddock himself, acted by motion capture expert Andy Serkis, provides comic relief without being too much of an annoying pain for adults and Jamie Bell's vocal portrayal of Tintin is about right. If there is a problem, it is that the villain Sakharine, played by Daniel Craig, is not convincing enough either as a character or in terms of the plot. It's a shame that the original Bird brothers from Secret of the Unicorn were not kept - they had an air of studied menace that would have translated much better than a figure who looked more likely to be inhabiting an Opium Den than a criminal mastermind. Furthermore, the comic duo of Thompson and Thomson seemed out of place and extraneous.
Spielberg gets to show off his directorial skill and the new technology he's trying at the film's climax with a sequence that couldn't possibly be done normally. It's exciting to watch for kids, but a Tintin purist like myself was baulking ever so slightly, thinking "this wouldn't be in a Tintin book". Fanboy misgivings aside, this is a small triumph that successfully brings Tintin, one of the great comic masterpieces of the 20th century, to a new generation whilst managing to satisfy the existing fans. Roll on the sequels.