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When seven archaeologists find an old Inca temple, they become the victims of an old Inca curse. Back in Europe, one by one they fall into a deep sleep and only once a day, all at the same time, they wake up for some minutes and have hallucinations of the Inca god. The story begins with the 6th archaeologist being put into sleep by the contents of a crystal ball that are thrown into his car by Indios. The last conscious archaeologist stays at Tintin and Haddock in Moulinsart. A thunderstorm approaches and the lights go out. This is used by the Indios to put the last one in sleep and to capture professor Tournesol, who has proved to be a desecrater of the sanctuary by putting on the bracelet of the Inca god. His friends Tintin and Haddock follow the track to Peru, up to the mountains through snow and jungle and finally discover the temple of the sun wheres they are captured, too. Their only choice is to chose the day on which they want to be burned to death by the sun. Tintin chooses ... Written by
Michael Zink and Jens Müller
Dreadful, clumsy and badly made animated feature; of which, apart from being head-spinningly dull, is just a tad crass and a mite offensive.
For all that's at stake; the great danger particular characters therein come to find themselves, as well as the sorts of great distances they travel throughout, Tintin and the Temple of the Sun, an all-animated 1969 adventure film, is excruciatingly bland. At least, I would have settled for bland; the film does have this nasty undercurrent of hatred and ill-thought simmering beneath its surface, epitomised by one of the supporting acts to the titular Tintin and his rather brash characteristics. Primarily, it is a film about how savage and how alien specific ethnicities are, and how they need a white Caucasian male to enter their domain and put them through a process of 'civilisification'. The film, a short and breezy piece clocking in at just over an hour although feeling thrice that, is a dull; uninvolved and somewhat primitive attempt, an adventure film without the sense of adventure, indeed the sense of anything; a film which builds to what it perceives to be some sort of harrowing finale, but can only come across as distastefully xenophobic; a film that is uncourteous and brash without any right to be, a children's film that is repetitive, mean-spirited and really, truthfully terrible.
The film begins with its bluntest moment of exposition, an individual quite literally walking onto a stage, doubling for a press conference, in which he reveals to us the unfortunate recent history more broadly linked to that of a Peruvian Inca God's tomb. Specifically, those European explorers whom only a few weeks ago raided it and were met with a terrible curse, not death like it perhaps ought to have been, but of a sort that comatosed them. Later, the Philippe Ogouz voiced eponymous hero of the hour, Tintin, that fleet footed; athletic and all round friendly Belgian, although you wouldn't know any of that here without having previously read or seen one of his adventures, is dwelling at home with some of his friends whilst about to host a rendez-vous with one of the explorers yet to be struck down by the curse. The explorer doesn't make it, and is jinxed en-route. Terror additionally strikes when, on account of a confusing blend of unprecedented levels of weather seemingly working in tandem with a pair of dastardly crooks (why would the Inca Gods need both - wouldn't you just need to use one or the other if you actually were/weren't an all powerful being?) infiltrate Tintin's grounds; create a distraction and swipe Tintin's long-standing ally Professor Calculus. Enraged, and with his faithful yet ultimately superfluous pet dog Snowy, as well as the drink-obsessed; loud mouthed; unshaven Captain Haddock (Bertrand), Tintin sets off on a quest to get Calculus back - and Lord, wouldn't you know it, but it isn't long before they realise they've got to dart off to Peru.
Principally, the film fails on two very basic levels; that of narrative and character, with a further level of deficiency more inclined to issues of representation depressingly propping it up. Nobody learns or discovers anything throughout the course of the film apart from one of the Inca high priests and the truths of his supposedly blood-thirsty ways, an epiphany brought about by humble Westerners. There is a ton of grotesquely misjudged content involving the ever-increasingly irritating Captain Haddock character, whose raging jingoism aimed at the Peruvians (of whom are depicted as simple, backward people engaging in fiestas and localised customs we are invited to gawp at rather than understand) get gradually and gradually more distressing as the film wears on. His unparallelled hatred of his South American surroundings; its people, culture and landscape included, is initially epitomised in his lack of being able to function on a 'proper' wavelength with that of the location's many llamas and their temperamental attitudes. Their clashing often results in the animals spitting into Haddock's face; but where there is an opportunity to establish Haddock as the grizzled man he is, ignorant and pig-headed to his foreign surroundings, before having him see the error of his ways, the film can only have the audacity to feed of this ignorance before including a scene nearer the end in which he gets his revenge on the beast by spitting back into one of their faces prior to departure: nothing has been learnt, and the coming to understand a foreign culture and the attitudes one should evoke in relation to it has been sideswiped for bodily excretial orientated humour.
Any dramatic content which threatens to rear up prior to this is immediately undercut by that of the presence of two characters: The Thompson Twins; characters whose presence I was never sure as to what the point was. They appeared often as rivals to Tintin, which is a tract that may have worked well; only occasionally, and begrudgingly, teaming up with Tintin and his troupé. Perhaps their being there was motivated not by rescue but by something else they might have acted as good foils for Tinin's crew, but are instead two characters useless to proceedings and do their best to make the comedic element to the film as painful as possible. The villains, that of the Inca people, are stock bad guys of a non-white variety crudely inserted into the piece; the film punishing the one Peruvian, whom it tries to portray as an ally to Tintin, by victimising them and by rendering their contribution to the task as a guide whom constantly needs aiding in spite of being in his own surroundings. The film, surprisingly and depressingly so, is an ill-judged and badly played production; a film with little in the way of life, verve or competency and is best left alone.
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