Review: The Adventures of Tintin doesn’t mess with a good thing
Steven Spielberg has often flirted with the “boy-and-his-dog” archetype, although the dog is often played by an alien (E.T.), a sidekick (Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom), a robot (A.I.) or another animal (War Horse, which opens Christmas Day). In this one, a movie he’s been planning since the ’80s, the director reduces the formula to its simplest form. Boy + Dog = Adventure.
The boy is Tintin, an enterprising journalist of uncertain nationality, youthful but of indeterminate age. (Ostensibly Belgian, he’s voiced by 25-year-old Jamie Bell in his native English accent.) The dog is Snowy, an white fox terrier who’s either the smartest or second-smartest dog on film this year. (See Uggie in The Artist.)
The adventure — and they don’t call it The Adventures of Tintin for nothing — is a rollicking, Indiana Jones type of affair involving pirates, pickpockets, policemen, sunken treasure, wild chases, coded messages and something called the Milanese Nightingale, a MacGuffin if ever I heard of one. (Photo: Paramount)