Viewed – 22 June 2012 Blu-ray
The Secret Of The Unicorn
Whilst growing up I only had a vague awareness of the popular series of comic books and animated television adaptation of Herge’s Adventures Of Tintin, and although looking back I wish I had taken more interest, I figured it’s never too late to acquaint myself with the mystery-loving reporter, especially when a name like Steven Spielberg is at the helm. This follows Tin Tin as he stumbles upon a mystery surrounding the model of a sunken pirate ship, and with the help of grizzled, drunken sea dog Captain Hadock and trusty side-kick hound ‘Snowy’ – a globe-trotting adventure ensues.
Produced by Peter Jackson and created in that motion-capture animated art style previously seen in movies like Jim Carrey’s A Christmas Carol and The Polar Express … I was at first apprehensive, never having liked that weird not quite real, not quite animated look … thankfully here the technology seems to have moved on dramatically, and it looks superb, the characters bursting with life-like detail without loosing that exaggerated art style you’d expect from a fully animated movie. This is a beautiful looking movie throughout, and aided by quality performances, such as Jamie Bell’s courageous and determined Tintin as well as the brilliant Andy Serkis as Hadock (enriching the movie) and with a fun, thrilling tale – this proved thoroughly enjoyable. Spielberg delivers here where he failed in the most recent Indiana Jones, the adventure, the thrills and the comedy all paced just right and the action sequences including chases, sword fights and aeroplane hijinks are something to behold.
If I was to knock this, it would be to say the story was a little lightweight for such a cult character’s first big-screen outing and some of the action came off as a Saturday morning cartoon dressed up in blockbuster-clothing. Also we never really get to know much about Tintin at all. Yet this is Spielberg on familiar ground, and he delivers the action and the thrills with an assured confidence and a knowing wink like only a master director can, meaning at the end of the day – who could ask for much more?
Verdict: 4 /5