Yes, I know. Most viewers raved about this movie: the CGI, the performances, the dog. But while most everything LOOKED convincing, more or less, relatively speaking, I just did not care about anything in this movie. Not the plot. Not the characters. Not even the relentless action. And, mind you, I'm a serious action fan -- as long as there's a solid story foundation and characters who attract my sympathy. Unfortunately, the plot felt like something rehashed from about a million other shallow adventure stories. And the characters -- ugh! -- they were so one-dimensional, so flat, so lacking in any kind of genuinely human personality, that I just didn't care. By the time I got through the first half hour, I was glancing at the clock every minute or so, hoping either the story would pick up or the movie would just end.
So, what kept me watching? Almost exclusively the reputations of Peter Jackson and Serkis and Spielberg. That was all. I kept thinking that eventually, this movie would do something to make me care. It did not.
If you want to know what was wrong with this movie, then I strongly -- VERY strongly -- recommend you view the TED talk featuring Andrew Stanton, the genius from PIXAR, entitled: "The clues to a great story". This will tell you everything you need to know to recognize or to compose an excellent story. The TED talk is a real jewel. Stanton brings out virtually every detail a good story MUST contain in order to be successful. Once you've seen Stanton's TED talk, you'll know exactly why Tintin is a miserable failure.
Why, then, did I give it three stars? Only because of the TECHNICAL prowess of the animators. In spite of the occasional wooden facial performances, it works well, for the most part. Of course, one of those stars goes to the poor actors who were burdened with such a pathetically shallow script. In spite of this, they do manage -- only just manage -- to give some moments here and there that stand out. Besides that, they are wrestling with such a bad script that even they cannot save it.
And yes, I got the "in" joke about the sultan at the opera recital; the one sitting right in front of that horrific, yodeling land whale making Haddock's ears bleed. The sultan looks exactly like Spielberg. I'm not sure as to why he did this. Maybe because, as the director, he's sitting in front of everyone, "directing" this schlock? Don't really know -- and don't really care.
Anyway, if you're considering renting this thing, and you are beyond the age of 5 or so, I'd strongly advise against it.