The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
With an enigma that hints towards elements of fantasy yet concludes with logical realism, pre-Sherlock Steven Moffat alludes to his mastery of mystery in this film adaptation of one of the most popular comics of the twentieth century. Following commitments to BBC productions Doctor Who and Sherlock, Moffat had to leave the project in the hands of in-form British writers, Edgar Wright and comedian Joe Cornish. Both imbue The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn with the intense action and cartoonish elements familiar with their previous features, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) and Attack the Block (2011).
A few of the scenes contrast the comic book’s vibrant colour with gritty environments that provide a film noir atmosphere – aiding the crime-adventure element of the narrative. Anything sinister, however, is instantly livened up by Thompson and Thomson, voiced by comic duo Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. Andy Serkis’ performance of Haddock stays true to Hergé’s original comic books, specifically The Crab with the Golden Claws, of which the majority of the film is based. Serkis’ renowned experience with motion capture technology, particularly with executive producer Peter Jackson, certainly will have aided his casting to provide the template for the outlandish captain. Captain Haddock provides a fun antithesis to the heroic reporter; however in staying true to the original character, alcoholism provides the butt of many of his jokes. While the realism of his drinking may cause concern for some parents the film retains a light-hearted approach and child friendly nature.
The motion capture is used well to bring George Remi’s original art to life, aided by the performances of a fantastic cast. The action is fun and exciting, the mystery is puzzling and intriguing and the comedy is slapstick with hints of the adult humour which is now so common in films for children. Whilst the film may not be for the purists, Spielberg sought Tintin as Indiana Jones for kids and that is what he delivers.