Film Review: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is a fantastic adventure film that ticks all the boxes. It is superbly crafted and will entertain audiences of all ages.

Reporter Tintin and his canine companion Snowy are well known for solving mysteries and breaking big stories. When a model boat catches Tintin’s eye at the market, he decides he must have it. Tintin is warned against keeping it by a mysterious stranger. It is later stolen from Tintin’s home, but not before a clue is left in the young reporter’s possession…

The Adventures of Tintin is an adventure film of the highest order. Spielberg’s film combines everything you would want from an adventure: mystery, action, suspense, comedy and exotic locales. In this way it recalls some of Spielberg’s earlier work, such as the Indiana Jones films. There is also a very amusing nod to Jaws.

Spielberg directs the film deftly. The chase scene in Morocco in particular is spectacular, with the panning shots and overall fluid movement. There are some wonderful edits between scenes, with one scene seamlessly enveloping the previous one.

The screenplay by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish and Steven Moffat is great. Good deal of humour, which should appeal to both adults and children. The chemistry between Tintin and Haddock is most believable, and Thompson and Thompson do a good job of providing the comic relief. Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis do a great job of bringing Tintin and Captain Haddock to life, respectively. Smowy the dog also plays a pivotal role in proceedings. It is nice to see he is always given something to do while the focus is on Tintin; sniffing round the camel while his master speaks to someone, for example.

The animation is superb in The Adventures of Tintin. Unlike some of the other films that have used motion capture, there is a warmth to the characters. The detail is excellent; the strands of Tintin’s hair are incredibly lifelike. The film should give other filmmakers using this technology something to aim for. 3D also works very well in Tintin. It is a film with paying the uplift for to see in 3d on the big screen.

Fans of the books should be satisfied with this adaptation. It references it source material with a few nods, including the cute portrait scene at the beginning. Moreover, this film should bring new fans into the fold as previous knowledge of the stories is not required. From the great opening credits scene to the very last moments, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is immensely entertaining. Highly recommended viewing.