Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by Joe Cornish, Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright
2011, USA/New Zealand
For the past few years, Steven Spielberg has been on something of a sabbatical to focus on his work as a producer. Any director worth his money would welcome the influence of one of the greatest directors of the past 30 years, but unfortunately the films he has been involved with are of massively variable quality; for every Super 8 there is a Cowboys & Aliens. In his first film since the terrible 4th Indiana Jones outing, Spielberg returns with a film he has been planning to make since the 1980s but has only to manage to make it in now thanks to the technology existing for his vision to be possible.
Spielberg’s return has a creative staff to awe, with Peter Jackson as executive producer and a writing staff made up of Doctor Who Head-Writer Stephen Moffat, Attack the block writer/director Joe
Those who grew up with TinTin have called shenanigans on the way the plot unfolds in a way that has more in common with the traditional Hollywood action fare than anything the original stories encapsulated. It is true; Secret of the Unicorn is more mainstream than that which the avid TinTin might be used to but this is Steven Spielberg, nobody does the boy’s own adventure better than him.
The general sense of adventures sets the film up with an atmosphere and execution of something approaching Indiana Jones, with all the mind blowing action set pieces you might expect, the
Alongside the adventuring is a fantastic sense of humour. Writers Moffat, Wright & Cornish have developed one of those very rare occurrences, a film that is funny for children and adult alike. This isn’t in any way a condescending comment either, as the jokes aren’t clearly defined, with adult’s jokes in one box and kids’ in the other. The Adventures of TinTin is one of those even rarer occasions where the jokes are funny regardless of age; however there is one risqué inclusion on bestiality. That line is included in a scene with a seemingly endless succession of jokes which hit right on the money, whether they are one-liners about certain sleeping characters’ personality traits or floppy-limbed physical comedy.
All of this would be irrelevant if it didn’t have the acting talent to carry the film and given that it’s a mo-cap film and stars Andy Serkis, very little else needs to be said. The man has a reputation for stealing the limelight from larger profile actors with his physical roles, such as Cesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. As Captain Haddock, he once again steals the show with an energetic psychical performance and backed up by his own inimitable delivery. Other stand outs include Daniel Craig who has the time of his life in a break from the more intense role he is known for. Jamie Bell might inhabit a bland role, one supplemented by his brilliant dog, Snowy, but he always captures the adventurous spirit of the young investigator.
TinTin enthusiasts might hate this film, for everybody else it serves as a reminder as to why Steven Spielberg is held in such high esteem. The set up