The Adventures of Tintin.
Based on the comic strip of the same title, this movie follows the adventures of an intrepid young reporter and his wily dog as they try to uncover the mystery surrounding the sinking of an old ship. The script has some serious fan-boy geekgasm names attached, including Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Steven Moffat (the current Doctor Who series), and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block). Directed by Steven Spielberg, under the "Amblin Entertainment" brand, the animated feature includes the voice talents of Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, and Simon Pegg in lead roles. Have you geek-gasmed yet? So, is the film worth the hype surrounding such an illustrious set of names attached with the project? Yes, actually... it is.
Make no mistake, this is a family feature paced with high octane action measured between bouts of comfortable humor. Comfortable? Yes... something that struck me with the watching of this film was it's lack of cruelty. There were several tense moments, some scenes with quick bits of violence, and a set of villains devoid of any sense of morality but the overall feel of the film lacked any real sense of cruelty. Tintin is a hero first and foremost and he avoids killing, avoids making people suffer, and he's never once motivated by a sense of vengeance. The humor is never cruel, despite several slapstick moments where villains slip, slide, or fall in the heat of a chase. Tintin is much more innocent and bridges the gap between "Family friendly" and flat out damn entertaining. My son rooted for the hero, laughed at the villains, and was worried for the dog. And I was right there with him, never once feeling as though the film felt a need to speak down to me in order to MAKE the audience understand.
5 out of 5 is a pretty damn good start to the New Year, eh?