Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tintin: Comic to Film?

Tintin and Haddock ponder their migration from book to screen.

Tintin: What would Hergé have thought of us?
Haddock: Turning in his grave likely.
Tintin: Wish we had better lines to speak.
Haddock: Too right! It’s getting boring saying “Billions of blue blistering barnacles” over and over again.
Tintin: Think we should have stayed home in the comic. Everybody applauded us there.

What’s not to applaud? Why did the movie drag for so many people? Why did so many of us get restless and not even grin? The movie begins well, it looks good. Give it 50% for looks?

The flaw. Pragmatically, the dialogue is stilted and wooden. Sure, a movie should be action, and too much talk will slow it down and clutter it up. But in TinTin and the Secret of the Unicorn, too much action clutters it up, and talk drags it down (e.g. when Thompson and Thomson stumble on the wallet pickpocket). Hergé’s light lilt doesn’t migrate across the media.
Action movies can be elevated by decent dialogue. Some comics should stay comics. At least until a dialogue doctor checks out the lines. Sorry.


Anonymous said...

I agree. A good dialogue makes you think. In life. In a film. Even in a cartoon like Tintin. Words teach.

Barry Natusch said...

Gratifying to hear from someone else who shares the view that "words teach." Even in a visually-driven and feeling-focused medium like film.