Contributed By Yong Yung Shin
It’s a stroke of cinematic genius that director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson used the motion capture format (as seen in The Polar Express) to produce this much-loved comic series, because the treatment lends an old-school vibe to the retelling of the heroic Tintin’s adventures while satiating the viewers’ appetite for high-gloss, vivid entertainment.
The film opens with our hero Tintin (Jamie Bell), a young journalist and his dog Snowy browsing around in an outdoor market when they stumble upon a breathtaking model of a three-masted sailing ship, the Unicorn. Tintin buys it at a deal, but is immediately accosted by a couple of mysterious strangers who want to buy the ship from him. Immediately, he finds his life in danger, but it only piques his journalistic curiosity and makes him all the more determined to unravel the secret within the Unicorn.
Of course, our hero finds himself on a rollercoaster ride of adventure and danger when he meets the captain of the hijacked SS Karaboudjan, Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), who holds the key to the secret of the Unicorn. Not immediately do the two become the best of friends, but they soon learn to put aside their hang-ups to battle the devices of the evil Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine (Daniel Craig).
Even Indiana Jones himself will find it hard to keep up with all the action in this one—possibly because it’s an ambitious combo of three Tintin classics: The Crab With The Golden Claw, The Secret Of The Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure. If the ending seems formulaic, remember these books were written in the 1940s, long before its intended audience was inundated with every movie under the action-adventure genre. Tintin’s no Pixar hit, but it’s a good watch nevertheless.