I really am over Steven Spielberg. What was the last good movie he made? Let me see... could it have been Munich, back in 2006. I don't know. I haven't sat down and watched it in almost as many years as have lapsed. If that doesn't hold up for me upon second viewing, what then? The Terminal. Yes, the Terminal was solid entertainment and also contained a sweet love story. But at the rate Mr. Spielberg's movies are dropping off my list of favorites, I don't hold out much hope for even that little film.
As for his latest endeavor, The Adventures of Tintin, Spielberg has once again fallen flat. But this time I've taken it somewhat personally. Unlike most audience members, I was made aware of Herge's globe trotting adventure finding sleuth reporter at a rather young age. At the perfect age, I must say (around 12 or 13). Although I was never privy to the comic strip, there was an animated television series that sufficed and through the medium of motion picture (albeit on a small screen) I became infatuated with this young frolicsome finder of fortunes. The Tin Tin I knew was a living, breathing being. He had character and was surrounded by wonderfully wacky counterparts. This Tin Tin was dull and seemed more two dimensional then the simplistic hand drawn animation I grew up with.
I do not fault the actor, Jamie Bell (Billy Eliot) for his portrayal. I think he did a marvelous job with what he was given. Yes, there could have been a little more life in the character, but I find that the problem lies with the director who could have easily suggested a little more intensity beneath his calm and cool demeanor. We must also lay blame on the writing team of Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish who find that we really don't need any kind of proper introduction to the character, but assumes that simply by laying eyes on the face of this computer animated boy wonder that we'd have all the information we need to get started on this journey.
No, no. I'm not saying give us back story. I'm sick of back stories, what with all these blasted superhero flicks that are being expectorated into existence, one after the other, I'm glad that we did not start with baby Tin Tin and meteorite that plotzed on his head, or however superheros are given their abilities. No, Tin Tin is very human, if not somewhat exceptionally so. What I would have liked was a little more characters development and not whiz-banging it rot off the get-go.
The only time I felt that there was any real interest to be had in the picture was when we are introduced to captain Archibold Haddock (Andy Serkis). Perhaps it was simply the expectation of what Serkis would bring to the role which got my timbers-a-shiverin'. Alas, he becomes as boring as the rest of the group and I am left to gasp for cinematic air. This is a real shocker since Andy Serkis is one of the more interesting actors in movies today, behind and before the CGI, which begs the question to be asked: was it really the actors fault, or was Stevie too busy playing with his new fangled toys and trying to keep the audience from boredom that he forgot about the most important element of any story: the characters.
I could get into the plot (in fact, that's all there is in this film), but why bother. It's not a bad plot. It is the basis for a rather exciting movie, one would think. But not for me. Tin Tin always keeps you watching simply to see what dazzling set piece is going to come next, but that is not enough to keep my active interest. I've realized that I needn't be so kind to films anymore (if I ever was in the first place). My reviews concern my appreciation or dislike for a particular picture and not for the team of designers which were behind its creation. For this, I give it a nearly passable rating, but not quite. It didn't serve me one bit and left something of a bad taste in this viewers movie palate which was thankfully cleansed by David Fincher. Now that's an odd pairing.