Adventure. Spectacle. Thrills. Those were words associated with one man in particular until he seemed to grow up a little and start delivering more thoughtful faire. They still entertained none-the-less, but a restrained eye seemed to be behind the camera.
Not anymore! The 'Berg you remember is back! And with just the right film as well!
Through out its seriously packed 106 minutes, you cannot escape the idea that the people behind and infront of the camera had as much fun making it as the you and the rest of the audience are having watching it. It's like Spielberg has become a child with a new toy - and the toy is the same tech that helped Cameron bring the entire world (box office-wise at least) to the planet of Pandora in Avatar.
With it, the realisation of Herge's well-known world of the boy reporter is so authentic that, for most of the time, you forget that you're watching a motion capture movie based on the comic books and just accept it effortlessly. Infact, the only times you're reminded that it's not live action is when the stunts and set pieces take all those memorable moments of the Indiana Jones films and then pumps them full of steroids and sugar, and goes off the deep end AND the chart! If there is one criticism that can be levied at his and producer Jackson's tale is that there is hardly anytime for the audience to catch it's breath between fantastical OTT set pieces. As soon as your eyes and heart have adjusted to the escape from Captain Haddock's ship, it's straight into a flight from hell which then leads into a flashback battle upon the high seas.
The imagery and cinematography on display here are some of the most awe-inspiring that either Spielberg or Jackson have created over their careers - a handshake dissolves into the shape of a sand dune; two battling ship masts tangle together to create a fiery theme park ride amongst the pirate carnage; Snowy the dog can be tracked through a herd of cows as his head hits their udders; the front wheel and handlebars of a motorbike becomes a makeshift repelling device - all these dive across the screen at break-neck speed to be replaced by another set of smile-inducing, eye-rubbing wonders!
The humour is constant throughout with the two slightly underused Thomspon and Thomson (Pegg and Frost) detectives providing slapstick for the kids and Haddock (Serkis) the laughter for the older viewers. The touches in the back and fore ground give equal pleasure as well - you'll never wonder again how hotels earn extra stars on their ratings after the bazooka'd dam sequence...yes, the film is that crazy.Not only does the feel and excitement of Indiana Jones soak its way through the core of the film, there are nods to the likes of Jaws and of course for the true Tintin fans out there, clues and subtle hints are to be spied all over the screen, from rockets on coffee mugs to a golden crab fountain and an Inca statue.
A true crowd pleaser, this is the most fun the two big directors have had in a long time and all that is transferred onto the screen and into the hearts and minds of the viewer. So much happens you'll need a second viewing just to try and remember half of it! Go see it, by blue blisterin' barnacles!
UK release date: 26.10.11