January 11, 2012

Tintin And Captain Haddock

In The Adventures of Tintin (in theaters Dec. 21), Steven Spielberg's relentlessly boisterous 3-D adaptation of the Belgian action-adventure comic strip, the figures on screen rarely stop moving. Steven Spielberg is an audacious master of kinetic action poetry.

Every frame is designed to capture as much motion as possible, Tintin has been animated with motion capture, and that's the perfect term, too, for its kiddie Indiana Jones aesthetic. Tintin, a boy reporter with a cowlick and an eager, wholesome Hardy Boys attitude (he's voiced by Jamie Bell), and the man he teams up with, the gruff, bearded drunken seaman Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), are searching for lost treasure, and that's about all there is to the plot — it's that basic.

Over and over, the two bounce from ocean liner to rowboat to propeller plane, then land in the Sahara, with a detour to a hallucinated pirate ship run, leap, fall, bound, shoot through the air, and plunge.