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‘Tintin’s adventures become tiresome after awhile

Movie review
By: Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger
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Based on a series of comics by the Belgian artist known as Hergé, “The Adventures of Tintin” is widely beloved in Europe but is largely unknown here in the United States. So the obvious choice to adapt the series into a feature film is an American director, is it not? It would seem blasphemous at first glimpse if the man at the helm were anyone but Steven Spielberg, one of the greatest storytellers of our time. Spielberg, along with producer Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings”), form a veritable dream team of filmmaking talent to bring Tintin and his companions to the silver screen. “The Adventures of Tintin” was shot using the same motion-capture technique that gave real performances to digital characters in films such as “Avatar” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” However, the effect is somewhat disorienting and the film never presents a genuine argument for the usefulness of this technique beyond allowing Spielberg to go over the top on a few action sequences. The film has a pulsating sense of adventure and feels more along the lines of an “Indiana Jones” movie that even Spielberg’s previous Indy film, “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” couldn’t quite pull off. However, Tintin’s frantic escapades among various worldly locales come breathlessly one after another. It becomes tiresome after awhile and results in some of the action scenes feeling lost in the midst of the white noise. Being a Spielberg movie, “The Adventures of Tintin” tells an engaging story and holds your attention well enough but there’s really not much to set it head-and-shoulders above any other animated film. The film would have been much better served as a live-action movie with practical special effects, which would have required more restraint among the action sequences. If the series continues, here’s hoping that the filmmakers crack the mystery of how to make a motion-capture animated film feel essential among a sea of worthy competitors. Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer. ---------- “The Adventures of Tintin” Directed by Steven Spielberg Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig Rating: Three out of five stars