TintinÂ felt like a real missed opportunity.
When you create a world inside a computer, isnâ€™t one of the advantages that you can do things that you canâ€™t do with brick-and-mortar sets and flesh-and-blood actors?Â TintinÂ only really comes alive during a couple of gigantic set piecesâ€”a chase through an Arab village, a duel with cargo cranesâ€”that would have been prohibitively expensive to do pre-CGI. The rest of the time, itâ€™s like weâ€™re watching actors wearing too much foundation.
The plot itself is creaky, starting with a ridiculous coincidence, and lurching forward from there. But the real disappointment is that despite the intricate motion-capture used to create them on screen, the characters are all lifeless. What makes Indiana Jones so wonderful is the emotion that Harrison Ford illuminates him withâ€”his delight, when he feels it (his reunion with Marion inÂ Crystal Skull) is glowing and childlike, but most of the time he seems to face the world with something like resigned annoyance (“Snakes. Whyâ€™d it have to be snakes?”). Itâ€™s that personality that locks us into the character and the movie.
Tintin has no personality; instead he has a little dog. Captain Haddock has even less, although heâ€™s drawn to make me remember Walter Matthau in his prime.
Iâ€™m wondering if this is less of a move than a gigantic experimentâ€”paving the way to films made without actors. Iâ€™ve got no particular problem with that, but I hope they remember that actors are more dispensable than characters.