Monday October 17th 2011
Between The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and upcoming horse-in-a-war drama War Horse, Steven Spielberg seems to be turning into something of an anglophile [*Daily Mail picks up story* *paediatrician’s house burns down*]. Despite its Belgian origins, Spielberg’s Tintin is a distinctly British affair, thanks in part to its uniformly BAFTA-shaped cast and the all star writing line-up of Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish.
So it seems fair enough that we also have the luxury of seeing the film two months ahead of its release in the US, not that you’d know from the lack of marketing push Paramount are giving Tintin over here. It seems they’re favouring ‘positive word of mouth’ and the all-important #Tintin Twitter hashtag over hopelessly old-fashioned promotional techniques like putting posters on walls.
Luckily for them, most people’s proverbial words of mouths seem to be entirely positive, and rightly so because #Tintin is a bundle of fun so ludicrously joyful it makes the birth of a newborn child look like the mass self-immolation of a thousand screaming orphans.
While I’m not an expert on the processes that went into making the film (as I understand it, Jamie Bell played all the characters simultaneously via Skype) what’s properly incredible about Tintin is that, unlike Avatar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes or King Kong, you can watch the film and completely forget about The Craft. By which I mean the film’s use of performance capture and 3D animation rather than that fucking heinous Fairuza Balk movie.
Instead you can sit back and wallow in Spielberg ‘doing a Spielberg movie’, complete with likeable and diverse characters, the hands-down best action sequence of the year and some of the lengthiest studio idents ever committed to a DCP print.
Fans of the original comic books will also be pleased to know that the film remains consistently true to creator Hergé’s original vision, so when I said the characters were ‘diverse’ I in fact meant ‘diversely male’ …
Still, if the total exclusion of female characters from Hollywood filmmaking is the price we have to pay for a movie as charming, hilarious and utterly ingenious as Tintin, then I’d kindly suggest that women stay the fuck out in future.