'The Adventures of Tintin': What the Critics Are Saying

 Weta Digital Ltd./Paramount Pictures

Director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated film, The Adventures of Tintin, was released in the U.S. on Dec. 21 after becoming an international hit, having grossed $240 million at the foreign box office.

How will American feel about the film, which blends motion capture technology with animation in unprecedented ways?

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Critics spent a good amount of space discussing the interesting choice of technology for the 3D film, from the way the characters look to the many action and chase scenes.

The Hollywood Reporter
’s Jordan Mintzer calls the film “a visually dazzling adaptation.”

“As the action moves from Europe to Morocco and back again, the pace is well maintained and the story never seems to overstay its welcome, which is not the case with many recent blockbusters,” added Mintzer.

Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times called the film, “a whole lot of fun.”

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“Think of The Adventures of Tintin as a song of innocence and experience, able to combine a sweet sense of childlike wonder and pureness of heart with the most worldly and sophisticated of modern technology,” wrote Turan.

“The movie proves less than inviting because it’s been so wildly overworked: there is hardly a moment of downtime, a chance to catch your breath or contemplate the tension between the animated Expressionism and the photo-realist flourishes,” wrote Manohla Dargis of The New York Times.

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“The Adventures of Tintin is an ambitious and lively caper, miles smarter than your average 3D family film,” wrote Roger Ebert, who added that Spielberg “employs [3D] as an enhancement to 2-D instead of an attention-grabbing gimmick.”

“The film is an extended, exhausting chase,” wrote Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune.

“The whole of Tintin takes place somewhere in the uncanny valley of a dubious creative decision. Much of the action and violence has a clinical, photo-realistic quality, so that a two-second gag involving a cat sinking its claws into a human face elicits a wince rather than a laugh,” added Phillips.

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AP’s Jill Lawless also commented on the motion-capture technology used for the film. “Some viewers may see it as a "plasticky" halfway house between live action and animation, but Spielberg uses it to create some exhilarating action sequences, including a madcap motorcycle chase through a Moroccan souk,” Lawless wrote.

“It has a light touch, a brisk pace and considerable charm, perfect family fare for casual viewers,” Lawless wrote.

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