[EDITOR'S NOTE: Fearless Sarah D. Bunting of Tomatonation.com is making it her mission to watch every single film nominated for an Oscar before the Academy Awards Ceremony on February 26, 2012. She is calling this journey her Oscars Death Race. For more on how the Oscars Death Race began, click here. And you can follow Sarah through this quixotic journey here.]
Not to crap on two Steven Spielberg movies in a row here, because I do enjoy his work sometimes. Alas: enh. The Adventures of Tintin's failure to land with me isn't entirely on the director; the source material seems like something I'd have loved as a child, but isn't something I knew before coming to the film, so I didn't get any reunion-y feelings, and motion capture may appeal to some, but is still creepy to me.
But the pacing probably is Spielberg's responsibility, and the movie plods. Chase scene; interstitial bit with Thomson and Thompson that fails to delight; fight scene; Thomson and Thompson; chase/fight; nonsense with dog; "joke" about Captain Haddock's alcoholism that's awkward instead of funny; lather, rinse, repeat. The 3D does nothing to help the story, which involves a flea-market ship Tintin purchases and a treasure lost at sea and which contains no suspense — we've been told repeatedly from the very beginning of the film that Tintin is a genius investigator (though not shown much evidence of this; he repeats things a lot, and actually seems somewhat slow), and it's clear he'll solve the…or prevail over the…whatever. The score tries to add tension, but John Williams is recycling runs and trills from Indiana Jones and the Imperial March. No idea how that nabs Williams a second nom in the category, but at least it didn't make me yell "shut UP, timpani!" like the other one did.
I've never even read the comics and I have to think they're a better bet than this clatter-fest.
Sarah D. Bunting co-founded Television Without Pity.com, and has written for Seventeen, New York Magazine, MSNBC.com, Salon, Yahoo!, and others. She's the chief cook and bottle-washer at TomatoNation.com. For more on how the Oscars Death Race began, click here.