As a kid I read all the Tin Tin books, so of course the new Tin Tin movie was high on the list for a Christmas holiday outing. As a purist, I imagined the high-tech computer-animated transfer to the big screen was a gamble at best. I am pleased to report that they got it right.
I learned French struggling to read Tin Tin in the original française;
nowadays my daughter does the same.
I was especially pleased to see that Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's interpretation of Tin Tin - which is of course a family film - is not watered down in the name of modern political correctness. That is to say that the anti-gun sentiments of the modern EU are not present in this excellent film. Early in the story Tin Tin whips out a Browning Hi-Power nine millimeter pistol - known in it's native Belgium as le Grand-Pruissance - like its the most natural thing in the world; the scene concludes when the man he is speaking with is suddenly and brutally machinegunned in the back.
Like Hergé's original comic storyboards, the movie is literally bristling with guns and the characters do not hesitate to to use them, early and often. The next identifiable small arms to appear are numerous German MP 38/40 Schmeisser submachineguns brandished by the mutinous crew of a merchant ship, and a pilot armed with a P08 Luger pistol. Tin Tin deals with the situation in hand and always prevails, even when he runs out of bullets.
The plot is basically the story line of The Secret of the Unicorn, set somewhere in the 1940s - which of course is the best era for film. There are references to The Crab with the Golden Claws, Tin Tin in the Land of Black Gold, a cameo image from The Black Island (Tin Tin in Scotland) and a few other oblique references. Tin Tin and his compadre Captain Haddock crashland in the middle of the Sahara, where they are rescued by a patrol of French Foreign Legionnaires, armed with Lebel rifles, of course.
All movies should be like this. The action is great, fast paced, moving in all directions - what we've come to expect from Steven Speilberg. At the start of the motorcycle episode, Haddock somehow lays his hands on an M20 bazooka and in the only NON-plausible moment in the film, he pops a hole in a hydro dam. I'm sorry, people - but I know the weight of the shaped charge in a 3.5 inch rocket and as a military engineer I am here to tell you there is no way you could even crack a dam with a bazooka. Hollywood always has to push it. Other than that, everything else is doable.
Other than that one single piece of artistic license, the rest of the movie falls fully within the realm of believability; reminds me a bit of the story of my own life, actually . . .
My take on it is: Take your youngsters and go see the movie - you'll all enjoy it, I guarantee it.