In a bid to combat global warming, a chemical was released into the air. It worked too well, killing all life on the planet except the people and animals who were on the Snowpiercer, a very long train with an eternal engine that moves non-stop. The lower class of the rear carriages are sick of being fed protein jelly, and start a revolt against the upper classes in a bid for survival.
I was very surprised to like this film as much as I did. It is extremely violent, a very ugly violence, but it is just a bit more than an action film set on a train. Perhaps it is because it is a South Korean production, or based on a French graphic novel. Some of the performances were quite good, but many were pretty average. I think if you are after a slightly depressing film with stunning shots and graphic violence, this could be the film for you. Oh, and did I mention Tilda Swinton? No? Wow. What a magnificently horrid character.
As a little kid, I loved reading Asterix comics. I know, I know, that’s not Tintin, but they always looked kinda similar – same size and shape, kind of. Yes, I do judge a book by its cover. That’s just me, I’m afraid. When I attempted the Tintin comics, I didn’t really get them. There wasn’t much humour and I wasn’t really interested in the whole mystery aspect. I tried again a few years later and I enjoyed them a lot more – still not as much, but I liked them.
I was pretty concerned when I heard that there was going to be a live action motion capture animation film. Was it going to look as crap as that Tom Hanks Christmas film many years ago? I still haven’t seen that one – Polar Express, I believe. I just couldn’t get over that scary face from the trailer. I still have nightmares.
As it happens, Tintin is the absolutely perfect film for this technology.
Herge creates beautiful characters in his books, often with slightly enlarged features, and live capture animation allows these characters to come alive. If you are familiar with the comics, you will share my delight in seeing these characters brought to life – whether it is the sailors or the absolutely wonderful Captain Haddock.
I find it quite hard to critique the acting in the film as the animation dominates the appearance of the actors, and so I found myself relying on the voice to convey the character. Certainly, Andy Serkis portrayed a marvelous Haddock, and Nick Frost and Simon Pegg gave Thompson and Thomson voices exactly as I’d always wanted to hear them, but how much of the credit of their performances should be attributed to the animators? It’s an interesting thought.
Recently, Tintin won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Film, and it was deserving of this accolade. The animation is wonderful, and the story is well created, taking elements from several of the books. It is filled with action and humour and after a first watching, I was more than happy to go again with my nephew. The second watching was even better – oh, and I’d recommend a big screen, go for 3D and sit right at the back. It’s worth it.
The Adventures of Tintin was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score (John Williams)