Director: Steven Spielberg
I always felt Spielberg is a unique filmmaker who bends his style for the genre he wants to create. While he could make an emotional, yet witty drama in the form of ‘Catch me if you can’ & ‘terminal’, he wouldn’t bring that genre defining theme into his sci-fi thrillers like ‘AI’ or ‘War of the worlds’; or for that matter, he never mixes the grandeur of ‘Jurassic park’ & ‘Indiana Jones’ with his emotional ventures like ‘Munich’ or ‘Schindler’s list’. So when he decided to make a film out of ‘Tintin’ I felt he would go into the ‘Indiana Jones’ theme with a little more serious tone tossed in. In other words, one should be prepared for kickass nonsensical fun.
Indeed, the movie felt like another misadventure of Mr.Jones, placing it well as a prequel to the 'Last Crusade', concentrating on how the boy Jones turned into an adventure seeking man. But with it comes the unnecessary grandeur that Harrison Ford seemingly pulled off with his infectious screen presence, which the two dimensional character of Tintin, even after transforming into a three dimensional cardboard, couldn't do.
But what can a single character do if the screenplay is more inclined towards ‘grandeur’? Where Snowy, just happen to break the mast of the Unicorn in the comic, Spielberg had to bring in a visually captivating cat & dog chase for that to happen; where Sakharine happens to be a mysterious collector of model ships, Spielberg had to make him a strong villain with a surprising past, played by a big star, adding to the ‘grandeur’. Be it the aircraft sequence or the bike chase, where ever the comic book is stretched to create a visual bonanza rather than a great movie experience, the outcome could only reach the eyes and not the mind. While those sequence do come off as visual treat, some like the encounter between Haddock and Sakharine in cranes screams to be edited out of this 1 ½ hour long exhibition of technological show-off. Even the re-imagination of the tale for the movie by recreating Captain Haddock’s character & how he regains his freewill and esteem, though smartly written, turns out only to be a superficially emotional drama.
On the hind side, the lush background information that Spielberg creates in almost every scene puts up a tough fight to seek our attention from the boring center stage. Who would bother to see if Thompson & Thompson were successful in chasing the pickpocket thief after he bumps into a lady & get dizzy, when the birds that fly around his head – a comic book usual to depict a dizzy person – is being caught by a shop owner to be sold. It’s a pity such genre (animation) defining creations and some wonderful re-imagination of the tale stands wasted because of the weak center stage & its dull presentation.