The Adventures of Tintin

In The Adventures of Tintin, Steven Spielberg has given us a visually hectic and sometimes confusing film that fails to capture the flavor and charm of Hergé’s comic books. Spielberg crams so much visual busyness into each scene that the story and the characters are sometimes overwhelmed. Although the film is less than two hours long, you weary of it well before the end

Hergé prided himself on his attention to detail, expressed through his clear line style of drawing, yet there is a lack of attention to detail in this film that is annoying at times. When, for example, Tintin and Captain Haddock need to get into a sultan’s palace, they suddenly appear inside without any explanation as to how they got in. Later, when they are chasing bad guys, Captain Haddock pulls out a bazooka, which he inexplicably got off a palace guard. Why would a guard be carrying a bazooka? What’s more, the film appears to take place during the 1930’s, before bazookas were even invented. Another anachronism occurs when Thomson and Thompson are referred to as being members of Interpol, although that agency was referred to as the International Criminal Police (ICP) at the time. And when Bianca Castafiore is introduced to the sultan, she says, “This is my first visit to the Third World.” This line makes no sense on any level, especially since the term “Third World” wasn’t used until the 1950’s.

The film’s ending promises a sequel, but I honestly don’t think that Spielberg should bother. It’s much more fun to read the original Tintin books.

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