The Adventures of Tintin action-packed but deficient

Spielberg a bit off his game in the family blockbuster department

Steven Spielberg uses motion-capture animation and a script based on the Hergé comic books to get back into the family blockbuster ring, revealing a surprising degree of rust along the way. The opening act, in which he introduces us to boy reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell) and his quest to find a treasure lost in a centuries-old ship sinking, is disorienting in its lack of character context, and it’s not until the swashbuckling action set pieces kick in that Spielberg finds a rhythm. Once he does, it’s with a breathtaking sense of movement, a stunning single-take chase sequence through a Moroccan seaport being the highlight of his ducking, diving, virtuoso camerawork. But the mid-movie thrills can’t quite paper over the deficits in the storytelling, including the perfunctory, so-what ending.

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