As a kid I read Tintin books and enjoyed the adventures of the young reporter and his dog Snowy so when I heard that Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson were making a Tintin film I was very excited. Then I heard the script was written by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), Steven Moffat (Dr Who) and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) and I could not see how this could be anything but brilliant
Tintin (Jamie Bell) is at a market in the town where he lives and he spots a model ship being sold at bric-à-brac stall. Just after he buys the model a gruff American tries to buy it from him but Tintin doesn’t want to sell it. The American warns him that possessing the model is dangerous and he seems genuinely scared and runs off before he can say anything else. That’s when the creepy Mr Sakharine (Daniel Craig) appears at the stall and he also tries to buy the model but Tintin insists the model is not for sale and takes it back to his flat, where it gets broken by the neighbour’s cat in a fight with Snowy, Tintin’s pet terrier and sidekick. The interest shown by the two men has Tintin intrigued so he looks into the story of the Unicorn, the ship the model was based on, a 17th century warship that was lost in a battle with pirates in the West Indies.
When Tintin gets home from his research he finds the model has been stolen. He goes to Sakharine’s home to retrieve his property and finds there that there was more than one model of the Unicorn and Sakharine is desperate to acquire all three. How desperate Tintin quickly discovers when the American that tried to buy the model from at the market gets shot to death on his doorstep while trying him about the danger he’s in. The dying man does manage to leave Tintin a clue to his killer but since the police that he reports the murder to are Thomson (Nick Frost) and Thompson (Simon Pegg) there’s little chance of them catching the killer. Thomson and Thompson are fully occupied with hunting down a pickpocket that has plagued the city which is very handy because Tintin’s wallet containing a parchment with an important to clue to the Unicorn mystery has just been stolen.
Tintin gets kidnapped and taken aboard a rusting cargo ship where Sakharine has his men search Tintin for the parchment. They fail to find it and Tintin refuses to tell them anything so they leave him for now. Fortunately Snowy comes to his rescue and they escape and find Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) kept inebriated in his cabin with a constant supply of whisky while his first mate Allan runs the ship under Sakharine’s command. Tintin, Snowy and Haddock are in a race against Sakharine and Haddock’s crew to track down the next piece of the puzzle but the last clue is locked in booze-addled memory of Haddock himself.
I just love this film and I regret that couldn’t get to see it in a cinema in 3D. The action and adventure could put Indiana Jones to shame with amazing stunts and thrilling incredible chases. The motion capture animation was just fantastic and the character designs are lifted straight from the Hergé books. I really want to see more Tintin.
- Rotten Tomatoes
- The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011) [Blu-ray] (takingtheshortview.wordpress.com)
- The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn – (2011) (storefronttheatre.wordpress.com)