The Adventures of Tintin
What boy could resist a gorgeous model of a triple-masted, double-deck sailing ship? Tintin can’t – especially when someone runs up to him and warns him that by buying the ship he’s asking for a lot of trouble. Trouble indeed – within twenty-four hours Tintin has had his flat ransacked, witnessed a drive-by shooting, and been kidnapped. Well, when you’re adrift in the middle of the ocean on a ship with a revengeful gentleman who’s happy to dispose of you, you can’t really turn back and go home. So Tintin sets off with his faithful dog and a drunken sailor to escape and uncover a mystery involving pirates, sunken treasure, and a centuries-old plot for revenge.
And so begins The Adventures of Tintin, a wild tale of nonstop action, adventure, and mystery. An instant favorite, Tintin is a great adventure to lose yourself in. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, but the journey may not be for everyone. Here’s why.
Tintin is basically pure fun. There isn’t much moral substance, but there are a few subtle themes. Determination and discipline are stressed as necessary qualities; Tintin and his drunken friend Captain Haddock learn that they cannot allow failure or bad habits to define their lives. Additionally, there are several moments of self-sacrifice, where the good guys are willing to set aside their goals to save someone’s life; most notably, a sea captain reveals the location of his hidden cargo to spare his crew from pirates.
The main appeal of Tintin, however, is that it’s clean enough to be innocent. There’s only a smattering of mild language and light crude humor, nothing repulsive that ruins the fun. It’s an adventure teens and adults can go on without consequence.
There are a few elements, however, that might disturb some, particularly younger children. Violence is the main issue; Tintin’s adventure is pretty perilous, and there are several near-death experiences. There is ample fighting with swords, guns, and fists, resulting in some blood and a few casualties. Tintin is drugged once. At sea, ships are destroyed in pirate raids and many men drown, which is perhaps the most disturbing image of the movie.
Also worth noting is Captain Haddock’s drinking problem. The man is almost perpetually drunk and is constantly downing some form of drink, including medicinal alcohol. His habit is not portrayed as admirable; Tintin thoroughly disapproves, and whiskey gets the Captain in trouble on occasion. However, his drunkenness is also played up some for laughs, and once Tintin’s intelligent dog gives the Captain some alcohol to help stimulate his memory.
I thoroughly enjoyed Tintin. The crazy adventure captured my interest and held it fast, and the cleanliness made it an instant favorite. I highly recommend it as a good film to relax with, but the violence and drunkenness are worth noting. While these elements may not be suitable for all, anyone who can handle the intensity is in for a fantastic ride. Hold on tight, because we’re jumping off this ship and heading on a quest to find the last scroll before the bad guys do. You coming?