We saw a new movie the other day!  We went to see The Adventures of Tintin.  We both liked it.

Reviews have been mixed, but in general it seems people who are familiar with the comics like it a lot more.  It’s true that the movie is pretty much uninterrupted action… but, well, that’s what Hergé does too.  With the exception of the Tchang stories, it’s just not a reflective, cerebral series.  If anything, the film does a better job actually explaining what Tintin does (i.e. being a reporter).

(Not that either comics or movie treat this realistically.  Who does Tintin work for, where does he get his money, why are they hiring a teenager?  But his situation is just a magical device to enable Hergé’s storytelling.  Indiana Jones doesn’t act like a real archeologist either.)

The film is mostly based on Le secret de la Licorne, though it’s taken many liberties, including entirely replacing the main villains. 

The CGI has gotten a lot of bad press, but I can see one major advantage: it adds spectacle.  Drawn animation is just not at its best in presenting straight adventure– it looks cheesy.  With near-realistic environments, as in the rollicking climax, the effect is impressive instead.  And of course near-realistic environments require near-realistic characters.  Sometimes the big heads look a little odd, but I think it works OK.

Thomson and Thompson were a little off.  They’re supposed to be utter imbeciles, and the film missed an opportunity to show off one of Hergé’s favorite running gags– their invariably awful idea of local costumes.

I’m glad they kept the film within period (La Licorne was published in 1946).  Tintin doesn’t belong to the hypercivilized modern era; he belongs to a wilder era when non-Western nations were invitingly strange and airplanes were easy to fly.