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October 17, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Steven Spielberg’s plan was, from the beginning, to open his latest epic, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, in Europe before bringing it to America. The film is based on a comics character beloved overseas but virtually unknown in the U.S. Spielberg’s hope, it was said, was to establish the movie as a huge hit abroad before unwrapping it in America as a must-have Christmas present in December. The film is due to open in some countries on October 26, and surprisingly it has received a warmer reception from American trade critics than it has in early reviews from most British movie critics. Writing for the Hollywood Reporter, Jordan Mintzer commented that Tintin is “a good ol’-fashioned adventure flick that hearkens back to the filmmaker’s action-paced, tongue-in-cheek swashbucklers of the 1980s.” Daily Variety London-based critic Leslie Felperin wrote, “Spielberg has fashioned a whiz-bang thrill ride that’s largely faithful to the wholesome spirit of his source but still appealing to younger, Tintin-challenged [audiences].” She predicted that the film will “do thundering typhoon biz globally, but will whirl especially fast in Europe.” Some British critics, however, have given the movie a whirl and walked away uncharmed. Robbie Collin in the Telegraph allowed unenthusiastically that the movie is “a perfectly decent animated adventure, comparable to the better output of DreamWorks if perhaps not Pixar.” However, he adds, “a film directed by one such distinctive artist [Spielberg] and based on the work of another [Belgian cartoonist Hergé] shouldn’t feel like it could have been made by almost anyone.” In the Guardian, Xan Brooks commented, “While the big set pieces are often exuberantly handled, the human details are sorely wanting. How curious that Hergé achieved more expression with his use of ink-spot eyes and humble line drawings than a bank of computers and an army of animators were able to achieve.” On the other hand, Grant Rollings in the Sun gushed, “Only the combined forces of director Steven Spielberg and computer-generated 3D animation could create such a spectacle. … It is just surprising it has taken so long to make a great Tintin movie.” David Edwards in the Daily Mirror maintained that the movie has “lived up to its promise. It’s a very entertaining, old-fashioned romp.” And in Brussels, Tintin’s birthplace, the newspaper Le Soir called the movie “a pure jewel”