'The Adventures of Tintin' gets mixed reviews overseas

LOS ANGELES: "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn," Steven Spielberg's 3-D take on Georges Remi's treasured comic books, is already a hit overseas with audiences. But what about the critics?

Overseas opinionators vary wildly in their assessments, with some heaping on the praise and one British critic reacting violently against it.

In Belgium, where the comic books originated, the newspaper Le Soir, takes a positive view of the film -- we think. According to the translation program we ran their review through, "The Adventures of Tintin" is "a popular and general public film, which alternates in a tasty way the exotic film of adventure, play of track Hitchcockian and the picaresque comedy."

So ... it's eclectic?

Alas, the film earned a huge thumbs-down from the Guardian's literary critic, Nicholas Lezard. A self-professed lifelong Tintin fan, Lezard likens the film to a sexual assault.

"Coming out of the new Tintin film directed by Steven Spielberg, I found myself, for a few seconds, too stunned and sickened to speak; for I had been obliged to watch two hours of literally senseless violence being perpetrated on something I loved dearly," Lezard writes. "In fact, the sense of violation was so strong that it felt as though I had witnessed a rape."

In France, Spielberg's interpretation of Tintin appears to be considered tres bien. L'Express lauds the filmmaker for crafting an adaptation that isn't afraid to break with Remi's vision, but remains lovingly faithful in its own way.

Spielberg allows to reinvent certain sides of history, and to make some winks," the paper notes. Even so, the review adds, "One feels all the affection which it carries to its characters."

France's Cinema Teaser praises the film's "sublime" opening-credits sequence, as well as the much-ballyhooed technology behind the film. It says that "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" proves "that the performance capture can definitively cause life when it is used by a large scenario writer."

England's Empire Online also makes special note of the film's performance-capture technology, noting that it lends itself to "endless chase sequences." However, the review concludes that it's the heart beating underneath the bells and whistles that makes "The Adventures of Tintin" a captivating read.

"You have a job keeping up, but never at the expense of the sheer goodwill," the review posits. "While luxuriating in its pre-existing universe, here is a film imploring you to join in. It would take a hard heart to resist."

Overall, Empire concludes, "The Adventures of Tintin" is "action-packed, gorgeous, and faithfully whimsical." (Reuters)

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