Suspension of Disbelief

Suspension of Disbelief: Tintin

Suspension of Disbelief is a weekly feature, in which we review movies, books, TV shows, and other popular culture for the skeptical teen.

Movie Title: The Adventures of Tintin
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg

I was super excited to go see this movie, so maybe that skews my review some. Tintin? Stephen Spielberg? Peter Jackson? Animation by Weta Workshops? It was sure to be awesome right from the get-go.

It didn’t disappoint. The story-line was thrilling (a mash-up of three of the comics; The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure), and the animation was spectacular. Well, technically it wasn’t animation, but motion-capture in which the actors have their movements translated into a visual model. Either way, the final product was visually stunning.

Because of the heavy emphasis on the action in this movie there wasn’t much time to get to know Tintin and Snowy as well as one would have hoped, although they were still excellent nonetheless. I particularly enjoyed the character of Captain Haddock and his boozy ways.

There was even a fabulous little nod toward Hergé’s original artwork in the comics at the beginning, which I quite enjoyed.

One thing I was quite disappointed in was its failure of the Bechdel Test. The Bechdel Test is a simple test which names the following three criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man. I was walking out of the cinema with my Mum, and she beat me to the observation: “Well that movie wasn’t so great on the female representation, was it?” Initially I thought there were only two, but my Mum was a bit more observant that me and added a few women in a market-place crowd, and a few in the audience at an opera performance. There were still only two named, speaking female characters. So Tintin only passed criterion number one, which is a bit dismal although not unexpected considering the comics the film was based on were written in the 1940s.

Overall, I did really quite enjoy Tintin, and you should definitely give it a watch.

Rating: Four out of Five Snowys

Featured Image Credit: Google Images
Rating Image Credit: Google Images

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Lauren is a Maths and Physics student from somewhere in the southern hemisphere. She has an affinity for reality, and you can find her on twitter @lolrj, or Google+.


  1. January 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm —

    The Bechdel Test is an excellent means of determining the importance of women in a particular story. However, a common mistake is to assume that a particular film has to pass the test to be a good film. A film can be of very high quality and horribly fail the test.

    That Tin Tin fails is no surprise. It’s largely an all male cast. I know the series mostly through the 90’s animated show, and I can remember any women.

    It is only problematic if many of the stories promoted or popular in society fail the Bechdel test.

    • January 4, 2012 at 8:20 pm —

      Oh yes, I definitely agree. I wasn’t surprised either, but I thought it merited pointing out.

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