Movie Review: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

Movie Review: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

In a rare moment of post Christmas togetherness, the family went to go to see a movie. Not that we are not a close family, per se, but there is little that we can agree on seeing. After Thanksgiving, we saw the Muppets, which was phenomenal, but even that my brothers skipped out on watching with the rest of us; though one ultimately saw it and frankly my wife barely can stay awake or keep interest in anything. However, once more delving into a uniquely shared childhood, we ventured to see a family film, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

The movie was quick and clever, fun and exciting. For those of you unaware, Tintin is a boy adventurer and journalist. He ended up in many adventures written by George Remi, or his pen-name Herge. Along with his dog Snowy and his alcoholic friend the Captain Haddock. The books are fairly complex with familiar characters and a lot of physical comedy. Herge has a familiar style which is echoed in many of his other works and as a fan of Tintin, I can say that the movie keeps to the books very well.

The movie itself is based on three books, The Crab with the Golden Claws, the Secret of the Unicorn, and the Treasure of Red Rackham; tying the the Secret of the Unicorn, and the Treasure of Red Rackham using the plot devices of The Crab with the Golden Claws to introduce all the characters and keep the plot continuing. The animation is quick and moving. The physical comedy feels very much like Herge, some jokes used shot for shot. The other comedic elements are portrayed by the detectives Thompson and Thomson, two abysmal detectives linked with Interpol, played remarkably by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. The antagonist a created villain tying the three stories together named Sakharine played by Daniel Craig.

The movie was colorful and creative. The animation was well done and clearly digital, brushing with the uncanny valley. There was good plot development and character development. The movie was fast moving and engaging. The music was great especially the title sequence with the clarinet and soprano sax duet, they even change the animation to art deco and alluded to a sequel being based around the Seven Crystal Balls (in such a movie, the plot would be based around The Shooting Star, Seven Crystal Balls, and The Prisoners of the Sun; which would be an excuse to introduce Prof. Calculus).

Other the world of movies this year, the movie was good. There was no crazy plot twists or complicated developments. The movie was funny and keep interest. The levels were varied to address both adult and child attentions. I think that the subsequent two movies will be in good company. The strong cast and animation should hold up. I saw this in 3D which probably didn’t add much, but over all the movie was worth the watch and with the weak showing in the animated movie field (Rango, Rio, Kung Fu Panda 2, Winnie the Pooh, Puss in Boots and Cars 2 the only ones worth mentioning), perhaps this could be a darkhorse winner. However, one way or another, this is worth a viewing.