The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
One thing about the recent developments in technology is that almost all of the characters that comprised a lot of my childhood can be feasibly translated into films. From Batman, to X-Men, one by one, these 2D characters came to life. Years ago, I heard about the plans to create a “mature version” of the Hardy Boys, which by the way, is the first fiction book I ever got to read. The actual title was “Demon’s Den” if you must ask. Although I found the choice of actors to play the brothers Joe and Frank dismaying, my initial reaction was still eclipsed by the excitement of finally getting to see them on-screen. Too bad it didn’t materialize soon enough though, same with Jonny Quest.
And then there’s this short film entitled “Riverdale” about the Archie Comics which I really hoped would be the real deal. The way the characters were presented were very realistic that although it was no longer the spic-and-span Riverdale High I grew up with, the good points and bad points of the Archie characters were still undeniably there. Too bad it’s “just” a class project.
This is why I really had my hopes up in finding out they were gonna make a Tintin movie. Although I have always made fun of the title on-line (Tintin, after all, is the Bisaya word for the male sexual organ if you don’t know) I was genuinely excited since I’ve read a lot of Tintin comic books as a kid. However, upon knowing after the initial press releases that the movie, which would topbill Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, and Daniel Craig would be in animation, all my hopes and dreams of seeing realistic cloak-and-dagger action the way it should be since Mission:Impossible 1 and Spy Game evaporated! I’ve always loved animation, but I see Tintin as a class of its own. Given it’s more action than comedy, I could hardly see how even someone like Spielberg can translate the action “between the pages” and “between the boxes” the way slapstick animations would always succeed in pleasing the crowd. In my honest opinion, if the protagonist is quick and deadly with a gun, nothing beats real live human beings in celluloid!
But then again, given I have all the time in the world, I naturally found myself lining up for the movie during the last Holiday in commemoration of one of the greatest Filipino heroes who ever lived: Andres Bonifacio. While some of the people who amazingly formed the longest queue at Robinson’s Galleria were partly for Breaking Dawn and Won’t Last A Day Without You, a good chunk of it were there to watch the latest of the legendary Steven Spielberg magic.
For a movie that only got promoted, at least here in the Philippines, without much shebang, a good lot of all the eager beavers who were there were undoubtedly Tintin fans. And so, as soon as the film started rolling, I found myself transported back in time and for some reason, I could smell French-pressed coffee and Belgian waffles in the cinematic air. I’ve read a lot of Tintin comics, and I just adored how it played trivial pursuit with my mind as one by one, memorable images of this Hergé classic appeared on-screen.
What I love most about “The Adventures of Tintin” is that it combined the magic of a classic with the brilliance of the new. It’s likea DJ Earworm mashup of Tintin’s greatest adventures but in a bigger, grander scale! Unlike other literary greats such as the Harry Potter series and Lord of the Rings, which, if I am not mistaken, seemed to be cut-and-paste from the book to the celluloid without much inclination for creative license (some Directors have to be faithful to the original, you know), Tintin is still Tintin the way I remembered him and yet it did not give me the same kind of meal I have eaten over and over again during my free afternoons after classes at Saint Mary’s College in Tagum City.
For sure, the Adventures of Tintin is not for everyone, but I have heard a couple of people (Doc Christian and Chef Nino) who adored the film although the’ve never read of such comic books before. The Adventures of Tintin takes people of all ages to a world of imagination. If you want to see wonders and mystery through the eyes of a boy, a drunkard, or through a mutt, then this unadulterated gun-toting fun might be your cup of tea. But don’t expect this movie to go Jack Black on you!
And yes, can’t hardly wait for the sequel….