Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Great Snakes! The Guardian Hates 'Tintin'!

"Thompson! Look what The Guardian said about us!?"
For those of you who have read my review for Steven Spielberg's 'The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn', you will be aware that I absolutely adored it. I believe it's the year's most exciting blockbuster, the strongest animation and a wonderful homage to the classic adventure tales of yesteryear. If you missed my review, you can read it here

 Anyway, despite receiving predominantly positive reviews from fellow critics - it currently holds an 85% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes (although that will certainly change once released in the US this December), one publication is not impressed or happy with it at all. In fact, it would not be a lie to say The Guardian hates 'Tintin' with every fibre of it's inky being. Here is a screen-shot of just some of the articles that come up when one searches Tintin on the paper's website:

 So far the paper has released 6 full articles as to why the film is 'terrible', 'awful' or any other word to describe how bad it is and how stupid we all are for liking it. Even a sports writer has had a dig. A SPORTS WRITER. I've been getting frustrated with The Guardian's behaviour towards the film for some time so I was thrilled to see that Ali Gray from The Shiznit had created a post this morning fighting the paper's over-dramatic hate. You can read his brilliant and well-balanced argument here.

 The paper has awarded the film two stars in two reviews (Xan Brooks - whose reviews seem predetermined, and Peter Bradshaw - who, well, doesn't really like Hollywood that much does he?)  plus Henry Barnes supplies a short video review where he says: "It's hard to care about Tintin when he's got nothing behind the eyes". 

 The Guardian's other attacks are made up of miscellaneous articles from know-it-alls who actually are unaware they are missing the entire point. Perhaps the most melodramatic and borderline offensive is from Nicholas Lezard; lifelong Tintin fan and lifelong idiot who makes incredibly bold and outrageous claims such as:

 'Coming out of the new Tintin film directed by Steven Spielberg, I found myself, for a few seconds, too stunned and sickened to speak; for I had been obliged to watch two hours of literally senseless violence being perpetrated on something I love dearly. In fact, the sense of violation was so strong that it felt as though I had witnessed a rape.' 

 His article continues in this preposterous manner and if you really want, you can read it for yourself.

 I find it quite frankly baffling why The Guardian has such an issue with this film - granted, if a film critic believes it is only worthy of a two-star review, then that critic will write a review exposing the elements that he/she liked or disliked, but for one single publication to document six full pieces as well as videos saying just how much they dislike Spielberg and Jackson's adaptation, it quickly goes from personal or professional opinion to down-right unfair.

 The majority of these articles read like attacks on the audience as much as on the picture - it seems that if you are a fan of this film, you have no knowledge or respect for the source material and that you do not truly understand the ethos of Tintin and his adventures. Considering I've been a fan of Tintin for many years and have read the books and watched the TV show, I feel I am in a position to disagree.

 Chances are that the majority of younger viewers entering this film will have not read these books; not out of spite but out of age. However, their parents or guardians are likely to have some experience or recollection with the character so it is capably appealing to the greatest possible audience. Also, wouldn't a writer like Lezard not want people to revisit or discover the comic books and classic TV episodes after seeing Spielberg's update? Because it is a certainty that many will, so in actual fact, this film has done him a favour, but in his ignorance, he is too blind to notice that.

 It's sad to see such a great bias towards a film that actually speaks to the past - it may be created with futuristic technology and screened in mega-pointless 3D, but underneath that gloss lies a swashbuckler that's rooted in cinematic history and an example of classic storytelling - it's a film that has an alcoholic protagonist as well as a motivated young man, a worldwide search for lost treasure and a glorious battle upon the Seven Seas, and it's just a shame that The Guardian are too snotty-nosed to notice.

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