Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin

Like most of the good movies I've seen this holiday season, Tintin was enjoyable but not as good as I had hoped given the reviews and word-of-mouth feedback I'd heard.

The film was certainly pretty to watch. The combination of stop-motion and normal CG animation produced a lovely result, with many details (hair, facial expressions on some characters) that were topnotch.

I saw the 3D version, but I found the 3D unremarkable, neither distracting from nor particularly enriching the movie.

The story was also fun, with a solid quest, a wide variety of locales, and a great deal of action.

As with Mission: Impossible, however, Tintin fell short of my goals for it in large part because it was so very predictable. The smaller steps in its plot were actually less formulaic and more interesting than those in MI, but like MI it could have used some tightening.

As I've thought more about this problem, I've come to believe that there are two basic ways to solve it. One is to cover the formulaic plot with so much style that the style itself becomes an object of interest, a factor that distracts you from thinking too much about the story and thus from realizing you know what is going to happen next. The other option is to tighten the story so it operates as a finely tuned velocity exercise, hurtling from one event to the next so quickly and with so little distraction that you never have time to get your bearings and realize that you could have predicted the outcome.

As I've said of so many other recent films, I did enjoy Tintin, and I can recommend it--but with the reservation I noted.

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