Bianca Castafioe, Captain Haddock, Red Rackham's Treasure, Snowy, Steven Spielberg, The Secret of the Unicorn, Tintin

Review – Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

Back in May 2007 I wrote the first post to what was then called Four and half years later, I have finally seen the film. The question is, has it been worth the wait?

A Brief Review for Non-Tintin Fans

If you’ve never read a Tintin book or watched the cartoons, this bit of the review is for you.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is fun film for all the family with a good mix of action and humor. Much of the comedy is slapstick which has a broad appeal but there are a few more adult gags sprinkled around. The plot is simple enough for all but the smallest of children to grasp and the film rattles through it with little time spent on introspection or character development before diving into the next action sequence. Though some of those action sequences, especially the chase through Bagghar, are overly complicated.

The animation, including the motion capture, is fantastic and I completely forgot that what I was watching was not real. The cityscapes, both of Brussels and Bagghar, are wonderfully detailed and the character’s faces are expressive. At times, Tintin’s face had a slightly spooky, unreal quality and Captain Haddock’s head did not seem in proportion to his body but not in a way that detracted from the film. More disappointing was the 3D. This was the first 3D film I’ve seen and I won’t bother again. Occasionally the effects did enhance the film but more often than not they got in the way by drawing your attention to them rather than the characters and I would recommend seeing the film in 2D.

Another disappointment was the music by John Williams. There is nothing wrong with the music and it does it’s job well, however it lacks that knockout punch. There is no “Indi’s Theme” or “Emporer’s Theme” that you will be whistling as you leave the cinema.

Apart from these minor quibbles, Tintin is a good film and a great way to spend a couple hours for both adults and children.

A Longer Review for Tintin Fans

The film is great. It honours and respects the original books without being limited by them. Adapting three books into one story (Crab with the Golden Claws, Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure), has given the Spielberg and Jackson the space to take the best from the books and fit it into the very different medium of film.

Spoiler Warning

I’m going to assume that everyone has read the three books concerned but I won’t reveal anything specific to the film.

The storyline is 50% taken from Secret of the Unicorn and 30% from Crab with the Golden Claws. Only a tiny part comes from Red Rackham’s Treasure and the rest is new for the film. The two main source books are skillfully weaved together and work brilliantly. I suspect we have the skill of Steven Moffat to thank for this. Many of the key scenes from these books appear in the film – from Tintin buying the model Unicorn; Tintin & Haddock’s first meeting; the life boat and the seaplane; lost in the desert; and Thompson & Thomson in arabic dress. Often the visuals are identical to Herge’s originals and capture the full page illustrations from the book.

Where the film is weaker is where the plot does not follow the books. Particularly the sequence in Bagghar. Here it turns into an over-the-top Indiana Jones action sequence with a lot in common with a James Bond style chase from the 80s or 90s. It is beautifully done and amusing but seems out-of-place and redundent. The final showdown between Haddock and Sakharine is similarly on a large scale but it has a point in the film and also nicely echos Francis Haddock’s and Red Rackham’s sword fight.

The central characters of Tintin, Snowy and Haddock are true to the books. Haddock is a drunk and at times a coward and an idiot. Snowy is resourceful, loyal and as keen as Haddock to get at the whisky. Whilst Tintin is the perfect (almost too perfect) boy scout – honourable, smart and brave. The minor characters, such as Allan, are also consistent with the books and the cameo by Bianca Castafiore and Haddock’s reaction to her singing is excellent.

The Tintin Fan’s Film

From the opening sequence (which is fantastic and screamed out as a tribute to Saul Bass) to the last moments of the film, the movie is stuffed with Tintin references. I must confess I spent a lot of time just keeping an eye out for nods to the source material. Certain scenes, such as Omar Ben Salaad’s palace, are packed with them but there are many more subtle ones (watch out for the cans of food that Tintin has to dodge on the docks). Several times I was the only one laughing in the cinema as I spotted references*.

An early scene has the camera panning around Tintin’s study where newspaper clippings of some of his greatest adventures can be seen. Interestingly, they seem to place The Secret of the Unicorn in the correct chronologically point, i.e. none of his later adventures were featured (though I need to see the film again to be sure).

It will be obvious to any Tintin fan, from the first 30 seconds, that this film is made by people who love and respect the original. This is not a shameless plundering of a culture icon for financial gain but a real attempt to capture Tintin’s magic on the big screen. Whilst it is not a perfect or ideal adaptation of Herge’s work, it is damn close.

Chris T.

* At one point, there is a shark hanging from the ceiling. I’m sure this crops up in one book but I cannot place it. Can anyone help me out?


  1. Thierry

    Thanks so much for this great review, can’t wait for the movie to come out in the US.

    Your 3D comment make me puzzle, it will be the first 3D movie I’m planning to see with my kids (3 boys of 10, 8 and 6 who love the Tintin comics and cartoons). May be I will settle for the 2D now.

    Regarding this comment: * At one point, there is a shark hanging from the ceiling. I’m sure this crops up in one book but I cannot place it. Can anyone help me out?

    Not sure (without seeing) but there is 5 references I can think of:

    1. In Red Rackham’s Treasurer when Haddock and Tintin are looking for a diving gears they end up in a basement of an old man shop and there is a big fish (swordfish) hanging on the wall.

    2. Also in the same book Tintin is diving and a shark attack him, Tintin protect himself from the shark but the animal swallow a small treasury chest. Tintin capture the animal with a rope and the animal get pulled on the boat.

    3. In the same book Calculus present them with his shark submarine that is on some wood frame for presentation, the shark collapse when Calculus seat on it.

    4. After visiting the island (in the same book) Haddock is on the life boat and the Thompson are rowing, the captain almost lost his hand that was in the water because of a shark. He decide to shot them but shoot at the submarine calculus was trying.

    5. Finally (may be I’m missing shark encounters in the books) in the Red Sea Shark when the Captain take over the boat with all the African people in the cargo bay, Rastapopoulos is trying to destroy the boat with a mine, the diving guy who was suppose to but the magnet mine on the captain boat get hurt and a shark swallow the mine and few minutes later the mine explode in the middle of the ocean.

    Did I help you? 😉


  2. Mike Dutton

    I liked the film very much. I don’t have a whole lot to say, because it was just so good. It leaves you with a bizarre sense of satisfaction which leaves you literally speechless.

    Oh, and for the record, I have seen what people believe to be a cliffhanger, but it looks more like the sequel will indeed focus on a new book entirely. If you’ve seen the movie, you probably know what I’m talking about.

  3. Caleb

    Hey Mike, was the 3D not as good as Chris said? I’ll still see it in 3D as I have never actually watched a film in 3D.

    I like the review though 🙂

  4. Peter (the 2d fan)

    also it says that the package with Allan and the Bird brothers is the “boss” package so they’ll be the most difficult enemies in the game.

  5. Louise A

    Aw man, I booked to see it in 3D and now I’m worried it’ll detract from the epic experience! The 3D wasn’t THAT bad, was it??

  6. Archibald

    The 3D is very well done. Doesn’t take you away from the movie. But you either like 3D or you don’t. If you do, you will love it in Tintin.

  7. Pe-ads

    She is indeed, as a special surprise near the end… 😉

    And true to form she refers to Sakkharine as “Senhor Sugar Additive!” xD

  8. Mike Dutton

    I’ve got to admit though, during the film, there is a moment where Tintin seems to go really out of character… Some may know what I’m talking about, but if you don’t, I’ll explain later on, after everyone has had a chance of seeing it. It doesn’t change my positive opinion of the film in anyway though, it’s a traditional Hollywood cliché in films, which I’m actually happy they put in the film, as a film like this needs a blend of both to appeal to Tintin fans, as well as non-Tintin fans and movie goers.

    Actually, now that I think about it, it is silly that I’m even saying this… Whatever.

    But for those of you who wish to know whether or not the lines “Great Snakes!”, “Blistering Barnacles” and “Thundering Typhoons” are in the film? Can’t really call it a spoiler, as it has nothing to do with the plot, to say that yes, those lines are in the film.

    Also, I’m not quite sure who it was that said that there is a nod to Explorers On The Moon in the film, but whoever it was, I saw it too, and yes, it was very funny. I loved the newspaper reports too: one of which even mentioned Tintin’s infamous Congo adventure.

    When it all comes down to it, whoever sees the film now will never be able to say that Spielberg made this for financial gain, nor can they say he doesn’t know enough about Tintin because he was in his 30s when he heard about it; He has Tintin down, more so than even I realised.

    I hope there will be a sequel to this film… Hell, I hope this becomes another Harry Potter thing, where they’ll end up making movies out of at least ten books or something…
    Nah, I’m kidding. Three or four movies is enough. As for the next film, which is highly hinted at being Prisoners of the Sun, maybe mixing books is not a good idea. I personally don’t think following up with the treasure hunt is worth it. It’s better for them to start the next film afresh, and send Tintin on a completely different adventure.

    Wow, I got through a lot there… And there’s me saying I didn’t have anything to say! XD

  9. Mike Dutton

    According to a certain site, Steven Spielberg said, whilst at the comic con, that the sequel to Tintin will be about ready to go in just a few weeks:

    “Sony and Paramount were willing to do one movie with us and then give us the financial werewithal to develop a script, do all the visual storyboards and get it really in launch position. So we can launch pretty quickly on a second movie. The script is already written.” says Spielberg.

    The script is also confirmed to be Prisoners of the Sun. They start as soon as they get a green light, which they believe will be as soon as the film starts making big money, which I’m positive it will.

  10. Thierry

    @ Mike,

    About the second movie being greenlight.
    I read this on the Hollywood Reporter article (on the 5th page):

    Peter and Steven say this:

    “You were going to do the first two films back to back?
    Spielberg: The studios [Sony and Paramount] were willing to do one movie with us and then give us the financial wherewithal to develop a script, do all the visual storyboards and get it really in launch position. So we can launch pretty quickly on a second movie. The script is already written.
    So Peter, once you’ve done The Hobbit, you’ll go straight to directing Tintin 2?
    Jackson: Yes.”

    So even if the movie is greenlight soon, Jackson will not start shooting until sometime in 2013, principal photography on the Hobbit is still under way (started in March 2011) and is suppose to last somewhere around 18 months. First movie being release in December 2012 and second in December 2013. With all the post production these two movies will need I assume that Peter will not be able to shoot until end of 2012 or beginning of 2013 at the earliest. Post production lasted for Tintin movie almost 2.5 years. The movie was shoot between January 2009 and March 2009, it is release in October 2011.

    So here is my prediction (let see if it stands in couple years): Shooting of the second movie happen in January 2013 (as well as the third movie being shoot at the same time), release date worldwide between October and December 2014. The third movie will be release before Christmas 2015.

    My assumption my be crazy but it could stand (may be).

  11. lalunafelis

    @Mike: I dunno, haven’t seen the movie, but I don’t think Tintin is someone who could go “out of character”. I mean, he’s a blank canvas that anyone can project their own ideas and personality on. That’s just what I think, though..

  12. Trix

    @ Mike,
    With your explanation, you’ll be waiting a while, cause some of us have to see it in December

    Good to know they kept her absent-minded self!

  13. Louise A

    I went to see the film last night and…I can’t quite find the words to describe how fantastic it was. Afterwards my face was hurting for grinning and laughing for almost 2 hours straight! Also I cannot wait to see it again so I’m planning to see it Saturday again! There’s just so much to see, so much action from so many characters that you can’t notice first time around!

    I hope I leave out any spoilers, but just in case, don’t read this!

    I wanted to mention the couple of things that Chris’ review made me worry about, but I realised they weren’t there at all for me, which just goes to prove the completely subjective nature of films; for one, the 3D did not ‘get in the way’ – it was the most clear and subtle piece of 3D I’d ever seen – things like dust motes catching light while drifting in the air floated out of the screen and it was beautiful!

    Also the music was not a let down at all – Tintin did have a clear action theme, the music was particularly strong during the pirate sequences, and at the closing credits the music is exciting and memorable!

    I agree that Daniel Craig as Sakharine is particularly fantastic – a hero is only as good as his villain, right? He’s suave, sophisticated and cruel. I sort of wanted to see the Bird brothers on the big screen, but I realised that their new Sakharine is definitely far more of a match for him and Haddock!

    Serkis as Haddock was amazing – he was the one character that suddenly felt completely familiar the minute I saw him; as if I’d been hearing Haddock with a Scottish accent all my life! Serkis really made him come alive; he was hilarious, relatable and loyal.

    Jamie Bell has done a great job as Tintin – he was always going to be the hardest to bring life to, but I feel as though he captured the essence of what Tintin should be; enthusiastic, confident, curious, funny, sometimes scolding and often totally badass! I know some Tintin characteristics will be specific to the reader that projects them onto him, but for me these stand out as the key ones!

    The others characters are all brilliant; Castafiore, the T(h)ompsons, Allan! Snowy was brilliantly handled too; he could have become the cutesy animated animal they play for laughed, but he was very classily presented and not over done as Haddock and Snowy both provided laughs, rather than having to rely on one or the other completely. Snowy was adorable and brave and alcohol loving and opera hating – just as he is in the books!

    The only thing I felt felt a little odd was that the beginning felt a little forced; that Tintin should be so interested in the Unicorn, but it was entirely neccessary for the film to take off, so I’m not bothered!

    Also, sitting at the beginning as the studio titles rolled up it was the weirdest thing – it takes some getting used to, seeing your childhood hero on the big screen, with loads of people watching him! But you soon get into the story! It’s exciting, hilarious and a wonderful adventure to get into! The chase scenes are not redundant – after all, Herge wrote some of the longest ones (the calculus affair, the Italian cab driver)! They are wonderfully clever and exciting!

    The final thing I wanted to mention is that the film is GORGEOUS. It is SO stunning to look at and not only the scenery but the characters are just beautiful to see move and perform! I truly did forget that I wasn’t watching a live movie! When I got home and watched people on TV I thought ‘Huh, they’re not animated as good as Tintin’ because Tintin is just so wonderful! I would recommend going to see it in 3D because it does not distract you or make it unfocused but it is amazing and truly eye-catching. When the end came I wanted to yell because it was over! I just wanted to watch the next one!

    Everything good you could think about this film; it is. The only problem with it is that it’s too short! I didn’t want to stop watching! I would have had it go one for at least another three hours! 😀

  14. Louise A

    Oh and also (yes I’m rambling, but this film is epic) Tintin and Haddock have a great connection! You can see the blossoming ‘bromance’ or ‘brotherhood’ – whatever you want to call it – there already. They work fantastically together!

    Okay, that’s it, I swear!

  15. lalunafelis

    @Louise: Nice to hear another enthusiastic response. Although, I must say, I’m a bit worried by what I’ve been reading round the net. From what I read so far, this might be poised as another one of those flicks that got a high critic approval but low audience turnout. Knock on wood, cross fingers, pray that it isn’t so.

    And from the criticism that I read about Tintin being turned into a “china doll”, I do think it has the opposite effect on me. I LOVE this new delicate, androgynous look of his, especially in this cap taken from the featurette:

    That’s one HEAVENLY smile.

  16. Trix

    @ Louise

    That was great, that info you gave us. And I don’t really think there are any spoilers in that because i haven’t seen the movie yet myself so I would know. Thanks for that, Louise! I’m really looking forward to the Tintin movie now! I think I’ll go see it twice…

  17. Lilla My

    I’m gonna see it twice 😀 29’th with my friend and the 30’th with my mother and sister, since they also was very thrilled by it! I really looking forward to it.

    Btw; I found a poster on a busstop here on my was to school today. Unfortunatly, I couldn’t get a picture of it, but it made me smile. Only three days left!

  18. Steven (NL)

    I was lucky and very excited to be able to attend an avant-premiere in Amsterdam yesterday evening. (The official premiere is tonight.) Unfortunately I wasn’t very happy about the movie when I left the cinema. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it why that was so, but I have given it much thought and I think I now know what was bothering me.
    Of all Tintin adaptations for cinema and/or TV, I recognise least of the original characters in the Spielberg version. That is not because the stories have been changed a lot; the Belvision series for TV were even much more different from the books and have litterally been Americanised, with Tintin living in a large skyscraper city. But although I’m not very happy with some of the alterations – b.t.w. are they really for cinematic reasons or are producers, director and screen writers just desperately trying to put in their own egos? – that’s not my main issue.
    Despite all the good signs beforehand, the movie does not capture the true spirit of Hergés work. The Ligne Claire is all about clear story lines and clear pictures with only the most important details, but also without all the unnecessary ones!
    And this story isn’t clear at all. Just try that yourself when you write three books into one movie and want to stuff some of your own ideas on top of that as well. With Hergé you always know what Tintin’s up to. Here in the first 25 minutes or so of the film we find ourselves from one place to another, without any explanation.
    But most disturbing is that the looks are just wrong. Why all the off putting facial hair, hairy necks and backs, wrinkles, scars and pores, why all the darkness, shadows and dirt? That is not the Ligne Claire! Especially in CGI they are so easy to get rid of, but what’s more, they are a waste of time when you are creating a Hergé movie in the fist place.
    What also bothered me, but I suppose that’s very personal: Haddock’s head is too large, his eyes are too small and he is just plain ugly! Tintin’s eyes however are too big. The Thom(p)sons’ eyes are also too small and too close to eachother. They and Haddock almost look as if they suffer from Down syndrom… Luckily, Snowy is wonderful! (Is it a coincidence that he is completely animated?) And although Tintin, Haddock and Snowy have obviously gotten a lot of attention from the animators to make their movements and expressions look like real life, a lot of the other figures (Omar Ben Salaad, Castafiore) clearly haven’t. Besides his looks, I also found Haddock too childish. Perhaps that, in short, is it: the movie does not take its origin seriously, despoite all the promises. It’s more a parody or pastiche, even when it is not meant to be as such.

  19. Ian Hobbs

    Been a fan for years, absolutely loved it, I’m sure herge would have thought the same. The one think I took away from it was listening to a child behind me, so enthralled and excited ” yeah tintin” I know he will be hooked. This will inspire a new generation of fans to read the books. Which I’m sure would put a smile on herge’s face like it did mine. Bravo mr Spielberg more please…..

  20. Mike Dutton

    @Steven NL

    There’s always got to be one to spoil the magic…

    Don’t treat the film as if it’s trying to top the books. Just enjoy it for what it is: a movie. How can they do a clear line film? Even if it was animated, it wouldn’t work. They’ve done everything they can do to make the film good.

    Seriously, you’re angry about dirt and shadows? Pores and scars?? Those kinds of remarks are the sorts of things purists come up with to find excuses to hate the film.

    I was there again today, with at least 60 people. Not one of them said they hated the film.

    I think it may actually be you who has taken the film too seriously. You’ve treated it not as a film, but instead as some sort of scientific experiment, where everything has to be right or it’s a colossal failure.

    There’s nothing wrong with being critical over a film, but your “review” sounds like you’re trying to hate the film deliberately, with talks about egos, and how someone’s eyes are too small or something… What’s wrong with the world, where they can’t look at the big picture without pointing out all the tiny bits that nobody cares about. It’s no wonder liking films like Indiana Jones 4 is such a taboo these days.

    Michael Farr, one of Britain’s leading Tintinologists, has seen the film, and loves it. He accepted that things had to be different, and even reminded us that Hergé was on top of technology, often being ahead of his time, which means he may have accepted this style of filmmaking.

    Here, you make it sound like Lake of Sharks and Blue Oranges are better. It may not be a perfect film, but don’t denounce it as if it IS the worst Tintin film ever made.

  21. Steven (NL)

    @ Mike Dutton

    It’s not me taking the movie too serious. It is the filmmakers who, i.m.o., do not stick to their words. If they hadn’t kept saying how very faithful this film was going to be to Hergés work, my expectations would have been much different and they wouldn’t have dissapointed me. Please read carefully! I think I made clear that I can perfectly live with alterations, like in all other adaptations before, and can judge a movie for its own merits. I am certainly not desperately looking for any stick to beat with and am just trying to put sincerely into words my feelings after watching the movie. I too was looking forward to this film for many, many years… Unfortunately it turned out to be a dissapointment for me. That doesn’t mean it will be for others…
    And yes, I do mean to say that Blue oranges and especially The Golden Fleece are much more in spirit of Hergé. Why can’t you accept a different opinion?

    As much as I admire Michael Farr’s books, he might be a little too close to the fire to be entirely objective.

  22. Steven (NL)

    One more think: I too think that this type of filmmaking can be very suitable for a good Tintin movie. I just don’t agree with the artistic choices that have been made here.

  23. Emily

    Herge didn’t like Blue Oranges or Golden Fleece. He loved what Spielberg could do with action adventure genres and the way Hollywood made movies. Just saying.

  24. @ Steven NL

    I can’t be agree with much of what you say. I respect your opinion but I definitely not share it. I’ve just seen the film and find it fantastic.

    I think it’s true that many adaptation from literature have major changes that sometimes bother the audience, but I also think that generally the audience is more wrong that the adaptations itselfs, and it’s very easy to say why: people is waiting to see exactly the same thing they have read.

    It’s called ADAPTATION. I insist, ADAPTATION, not transportation, not copy/paste, not replacement, but just adaptation. This means that writers, directors and producers take the work of an author and reinterpret it.

    You say there’s no respect to Herge’s work. Look, if you take the books, and do exactly the same thing but just animating the characters and putting some music: that would be not to respect Herge’s work, because what you are actually telling with it is that his work was not enough, that the comic support is weak and Tintin needed another support to success.

    But, if what you do is to reinvent something that exists, you are accepting that the cinema is different, and that what herge invented is perfect as comic, but needs an adaptation to work on cinema.

    Hitchcock said that when he adapted a book, he just read it once and didn’t open a page anymore, because with the first glimpse he could take the things he wanted to adapt without being lost in the literary material.

    I think Spielberg / Jackson movie is by far one of the most faithful adaptations I’ve ever seen. For me, the unique thing that matters are the characters. Who cares on the size of the eyes or the heads if the essence of their personality and their motivations keep intact? I forgot about the 3d and the motion capture 10 minutes after it started (I’m with Chris, wanna see it in 2d as 3d didn’d brought me such an experience), and even if I found some exagerated points, like the moving building in the city chase, I don’t care it as the characters keep being as the ones I visited in the comic.

  25. Trix

    @ Steven (NL)

    Sometimes, in the books, the stories and their lines were confusing. And I find that I have to see a movie twice to actually get the story. Or read the book/s.
    The reason why they’ve “americanised” it is to catch the American audience. It is quite unusual to find a movie without that american embellishment in it. But they’ve done a good job to keep it “old fashioned” in a sense that they’ve kept in the time zone that the books were set in.
    And I thought that the artistic choices were a good idea. Honestly, Tintin is really rubbish looking in live action (as we know), and a cartoon would be OK but it wouldn’t suit it as much. In this way, they have that real look about them, but keep thatcartoon/animated feel. Do you know what I mean?
    And the features. It may not be in total proportion but it looks pretty well done to me. They can’t all be the Vitruvian man, right?
    And, they always change the books for the movie. I haven’t seen one book-to-movie movie that is totally perfect. Half the things in the trailer aren’t in the book. But they’ve made these changes for a reason and what they’ve done with them is made them sort of an equivalent. They may not have stuck to their word but I don’t remember them promising or swearing to it!

    That’s my opinion. So if you don’t like it, that’s fine. I’m not against you or anything I’m just saying what I did actually think was good.

  26. Mike Dutton


    Sadly, I must agree with Chris on that part. The 3D is somewhat distracting at Times. At one point, Sakharine points his stick at Tom and Allan, and the stick waves about in 3D. The same thing happens with Sir Francis and his telescope. Other moments, like the three scrolls flying through the air, are more intriguing, but all in all, the 3D isn’t all that spectacular. I would say it’s better to see the film in 2D. The film is made as an old fashioned adventure, so at best, it should be watched in an old fashioned way.

  27. its nice to see the 3D as thats what it was conceived for, but really I think 3d is a vintage thing and nothing new and spectacular. It bothers more than helps to the story, for the poor impact it does.

  28. Mike Dutton

    @ Pau

    I agree. I admire its effort to bring fun back into the cinema, but if it isn’t utilised properly, then it’s not worth it.


    I saw the 2D first, but if you want to see if the impact is any different, do the opposite of what I did.

  29. What I loved of watching the movie, is that 10 minutes after it starts, you forgot about the technology as really is not something bringing out a huge impact (even if i think it works great the motion capture for this movie). when technology rests no important is when you can focuse and flow throughout the story.

    Honestly, it was like watching a Alfred Hichcock film. I think if Hitchcock was alive would do this kind of movies, bringing the visuals to their maximum (like the moment that the hands become the mountain where tintin and haddock ride the camels).

  30. Tintinrulz

    Granted I haven’t seen the movie yet (it comes to Australia in late December) but I’m really looking forward to the movie. From non-spoilery reviews I’ve read it seems as if the movie’s pacing is off at times and that the movie is a little more family-friendly than the albums but for the most part it is true to the spirit of Herge’s characters and adventures. Personally, I thought Tintin and the Lake of Sharks was horrible. The 60’s live action Tintin’s were better but still lacked any of the energy and excitement found in Herge’s albums. I’m going to try to go into the new movie with more grounded expectations but that’s going to be difficult. I’ve been following this movie ever since I first heard rumours of Spielberg making it back in 1997. Supposedly, Leonardo DiCaprio was going to play the role of Tintin. I wasn’t too keen on him as an actor back in those days (he was a pretty boy) but I really enjoyed his work in Shutter Island and Inception. Still, I’m glad Jamie Bell is now Tintin.

  31. Akira

    I’ve just seen it and late to the party but here’s my spoiler heavy review:

    Loved the animation and mo cap and the scenes with the plane and motorbike and Sir Francis Haddock vs Red Rackham and the crane fight at the end were utterly and gorgeously amazing.

    Most of all I loved how un-modern the whole movie felt, it’s a classic adventure at heart, perfectly paced with no padding. It’s technically a film for teenagers/kids but has enough balls to throw in a very un-PC joke, a character getting shot through the door getting multiple wounds (a true whoa! moment) and keep Haddock’s alcoholism intact (and be the source of most of the movie’s humour). You really don’t see movies like this is cinema these days. It’s say it’s also perfect movie adaptation – because it’s definitely recognisably TINTIN even with all the plots of different books mixed together, has all the adventure and excitement of the source material but it’s also bares a very strong mark of it’s director, it’s unmistakeably a classic Spielberg movie. In fact I worry a bit about Peter Jackson’s sequel because this one was so good on pretty much every level.

    All the characters are great, Andy Serkis was wonderful as Haddock – which was to be expected really – but Jamie Bell as Tintin was fantastic as well. Snowy gives all the K9 sidekicks a run for their money and Daniel Craig was awesome as Red Rackham/Sakharine (I love a classic mastermind, these day villains all seem to have a ruined childhood or some other mommy issues, but Sakharine is a magnificent bastard who seeks vengeance and also has a badass falcon and excellent fashion taste).

    Most visually impressive scene – for me – The Unicorn blowing up and the rain of gold falling from the sky. Anyway most of the ship/sea scenes looked so real you could just insert them into a live action movie and no one would notice.

  32. Mike Dutton

    What surprised me about the film is there was some brief smoking. Now we all know that there was a lot of smoking in the Tintin books, but I would have thought that for a kid’s film, they wouldn’t get away with including it. Guess the censors knew that it is a product set in its time, so maybe that’s why they allowed it. Who knows.

  33. Lilla My

    I’ve just came back from the movie… It was, so AMAZING! I can’t really say anything because most of you have already said it, and I didn’t find anything bad at all! The music was catchy too. Just love it!

  34. Matt

    Tintin looks so amazing! I can’t wait to see it on Saturday. Was it in 3D or Imax 3d that Chris saw it in? I’m seeing it in Imax 3D. It sounds so good. I’ve just found the first comic on the Internet and I was hooked! Can’t wait to read the next one! I hope to see all the Herge jokes (like the artist at the beginning).

    Sephen and Peter are my all time fave filmmakers so let’s hope they’ve made it good!

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