Acclaimed director Steven Spielberg says his latest film, The Adventures of Tintin, is like "Indiana Jones for kids." Based on a series of beloved comic books by Belgian cartoonist Herge, Tintin, which opened Wednesday, focuses on the worldly escapades of a plucky boy reporter and his white fox terrier, Snowy. Is Spielberg's elaborate 3D motion-capture adaptation really as good as the director's action-packed Harrison Ford flicks?

Absolutely. Tintin is a lot like Indy: "Indiana Jones for kids" is an apt description for Tintin, says Manohla Dargis in The New York Times. The film's most complicated chase scenes are reminiscent of Indy speeding through Cairo in Raiders of the Lost Ark. But Tintin is more innocent than Raiders, which finds Indy battling Arabs and Nazis in "a jokey illustration of Western imperialist might." Sure, "colonialism may haunt Tintin's world," but it's hardly in our faces as our young hero tries to unravel the strange mystery of the Unicorn ship.
"The Adventures of Tintin (2011)"

But Tintin lacks Indy's humanity: "The Adventures of Tintin is the latest iteration of the popcorn action genre birthed by Raiders of the Lost Ark," a film which itself owes a fair amount to Tintin's author, Herge, says Ty Burr at the Boston Globe. Unfortunately, Tintin is missing the "warmth" of real-life actors. "Would Raiders even be Raiders without Harrison Ford?" No. In Tintin, we have a "marvel that's fatally cold to the touch," a film that despite its superb craftsmanship and galloping pace, is ultimately "rather dull."
"The Adventures of Tintin"

And ultimately, it fails: "With its mixture of treasure-hunting, globe-hopping, brawling and puzzle-solving," Tintin is clearly a throwback to Raiders, says Corey Hall at Metro Times. Too bad it's missing "the spark, humor, romance, and the essential humanity that made Indy into an immortal screen hero." There's nothing "real and gritty" here. Herge's drawings were relatable on the page because of their simplistic design. On the screen, the intense CG hyper-realism blunts the impact of both action and the emotion.
"The Adventures of Tintin"