Business rating: 3/5 stars
Star cast: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Toby Jones.
What’s Good: The entertaining and engaging script; the comedy and adventure; the acting; the excellent motion-capture, animation and visual effects.
What’s Bad: Since the characters have not been established much, viewers who are not well-known to the Tintin stories will miss out on a lot; for those watching the film in the 3D, the dark glasses make the colours appear very dull.
Verdict: The Adventures Of Tintin – The Secret Of The Unicorn is an entertaining fare that will do well at the Indian box-office, especially in the metropolitan cities.
Loo break: None at all!
Watch or Not?: Definitely watch it for an adventurous ride. It’s also a must watch for Tintin fans.
Amblin Entertainment and Wingnut Films’ The Adventures Of Tintin – The Secret Of The Unicorn is the story of a brave, young reporter, Tintin, who goes on a wild adventure. It is an animation film.
Tintin (Jamie Bell) and his pet dog, Snowy, have just bought a model of a famed ship, Unicorn, that had sunk to the bottom of the sea many years ago. Sakharine (Daniel Craig) wants to buy it from him at any price. Tintin refuses to sell the model of Unicorn but soon, his house is ransacked and the ship, stolen.
The intrepid investigator that Tintin is, he starts nosing around and finds out that Francis, the captain of the Unicorn, had built three wooden models of his ship, which was said to be carrying a secret cargo when it sank to the bottom of the sea. With some help from Scotland Yard officers, Thomson (Nick Frost) and Thompson (Simon Pegg), Tintin realises that there is much more to the issue than meets the eye. Next, Tintin is kidnapped and taken on board a ship, which has been taken over by Sakharine. On the ship, Tintin manages to escape from captivity and stumbles upon the drunkard Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), the last descendant of the Francis lineage and who is also held captive on the ship. From here on, Tintin, Captain Haddock and Snowy go on an adventure which involves finding the three parchment papers (hidden within the three ship models), braving the wild Sahara desert and finally coming face-to-face with Sakharine’s evil designs. How Haddock and Tintin are able to help the law catch Sakharine and how they find out and locate a part of the secret treasure (the cargo on the sunken ship) make the rest of the drama.
The Adventures Of Tintin – The Secret Of The Unicorn Review: Script Analysis
Based on the series of books, The Adventures of Tintin, by Hergé, the screenplay (by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish) is full of clever moments, great action sequences, comedy and intrigue. The screenplay is such that the viewers’ interest is maintained throughout as it follows Tintin on his adventure. The characterisation of Captain Haddock, who goes from being a drunkard to reclaiming his courageous legacy, is brilliant. A couple of sequences involving the expert pickpocket, Silk, and the bumbling detective duo, Thomson and Thompson, bring a smile to the audience’s lips. Moreover, when the action shifts to the city of Bagghar, the viewer is treated to a thrilling ride as Tintin, Haddock and Snowy go on a fabulously choreographed chase. Sequences such as Tintin and Captain Haddock’s escape from the boat, Haddock’s narration of his grandfather’s war with the pirates and that of the climactic fight between Haddock and Sakharine are the highlights. The climax, which also hints at the film’s sequel, is good. The dialogues are very well-written and enjoyable.
What happens to be a negative point as far as the script is concerned is that audiences who are not aware of the Tintin phenomenon, through the comics or numerous TV shows, will fail to enjoy the film as much as the fans of the franchise, who will read much more into the movie as they have probably grown up loving the characters and the stories. This does not mean that the film does not stand on its own; it does and it is enjoyable. But this will be a sore point when it comes to the film’s box-office fate in India, where a large chunk of audiences are not aware of the franchise.
The Adventures Of Tintin – The Secret Of The Unicorn Review: Star Performances
The acting performances are very good, considering that it is not the real actors that the audience sees on the screen, but the animated versions of their action, made possible by the motion-capture technique. Jamie Bell stands out as Tintin; he is aptly courageous and smart. Andy Serkis does very well as the mercurial Captain Haddock. Daniel Craig plays the villain, Sakharine, to perfection. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost leave their marks as the Scotland Yard detectives, Thompson and Thomson respectively. Toby Jones (as Silk) is good. Others support well.
The Adventures Of Tintin – The Secret Of The Unicorn Review: Direction & Technical Aspects
Steven Spielberg’s direction is top-notch. He not just makes the film a thrilling ride but also infuses it with old-world charm and heartwarming emotions. That he has been able to handle the film’s final execution, using motion-capture technology, so wonderfully is another feather in his cap. Award-winning composer John Williams’ background score is masterful and takes the director’s vision forward. The visual effects and animation (by Weta Digital Ltd.) are of an excellent standard. Art direction, by Andrew Jones and Jeff Wiseniewski, is wonderful. Editing, by Michael Kahn, is sharp.
The action sequences look better in the 3D version. However, many in the audience would find the screen too dark as a result of the 3D glasses.
The Adventures Of Tintin – The Secret Of The Unicorn Review: The Last Word
On the whole, The Adventures Of Tintin – The Secret Of The Unicorn is an entertaining fare that will find more favour with the audiences in the Indian metropolitan cities. Owing to the good publicity and the hype, it will do above average business at the Indian box-office.