I was so pleasantly surprised by this movie. The reviews I'd seen had been lukewarm at best really, and the gushings of Richard Wilkins have never swayed me, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I hadn't been a great Tintin fan as a child, and so wasn't familiar with the stories. I was hoping to catch up with the three stories that were the basis for the movie- The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941), The Secret of the Unicron (1943) and Red Rackham's Treasure (1944). But the Chrismtas period got away from me, and there was only one opportunity to go see the movie as a family outing so I went before reading the books.
And it was fun. Much more funny than I expected. Much of the humour comes from Andy Serkis's wonderful Captain Haddock. A hard drinking Scottish sea captain is always going to provide some excellent opportunities for humour. Certainly much is made of his drinking, and the movie actually has quite a strong anti-drunkenness message.
Tintin is of course a famous boy reporter, who rather unwittingly becomes involved in a mystery when he buys a model of a ship at the town flea market. The story is action packed and I think the 3D effects are the least annoying of any 3D movie that I've seen so far. They didn't seem tacked on for the sake of it, even though I guess at times they were.
It is a movie that appeals to all ages too, my 11 year old son loved it, and my mother enjoyed it as her first experience of a 3D movie. Actually, my son and I both want to see it again.
After seeing the movie I did get a chance to read the books. All were so much better and more refined and developed than Tintin in the Land of the Soviets that I read recently.
The Crab with the Golden Claws has opium trafficking as a central plot which was skipped in the movie version. Opium trafficking not being too kid-movie friendly I guess. I do love Captain Haddock's strings of inventive profanities. Swine! Jellyfish! Tramps! Trogolodytes! Toffee-noses!
Some elements of the three stories are reproduced exactly in the movie, other parts changed, others omitted completely. Red Rackham's Treasure introduces the eccentric, stone deaf inventor Professor Calculus who is left out of the movie. Still it's fun to meet Tintin properly after all these years, and I hope to read some more Tintin titles.