Does Steven Spielberg ever sleep? On top of War Horse, here's this performance-capture, computer-animated 3D treasure hunt. Based on stories from the Belgian cartoonist Hergé, the movie concerns a young reporter from Brussels named Tintin (voiced by Jamie Bell), who can't stay out of trouble. Before you can say "Young Indy," Tintin and his scene-stealing dog, Snowy, are off chasing pirates, particularly the descendants of scurvy Red Rackham (Daniel Craig). Tintin and Snowy are forced to board a steamer led by booze hound Captain Haddock (a terrific Andy Serkis), whose whiskey breath is the equivalent of rocket fuel. Props to screenwriters Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish for never losing the story's sense of fun. No need to give away any more plot points. Though the jury of me is still out on the effectiveness of performance-capture (the eyes often look dead), Spielberg gives it his considerable all. The movie comes at you in a whoosh, like a volcano of creative ideas in full eruption. Presented as the first part of a trilogy produced by Spielberg and Peter Jackson, The Adventures of Tintin hits home for the kid in all of us who wants to bust out and run free.
WETA Digital Ltd.
From The Archives Issue 1146: December 22, 2011