Synopsis: Professor Calculus’ dreams of ending world hunger are brought one step closer by the creation of a desert-proof orange, deep blue in colour. But it seems he’s not the only one interested in this magnificent scientific discovery. When the strange blue orange – invented by Spanish Professor Zalamandea – is stolen, Tintin, Captain Haddock, Calculus and Snowy the dog make for Spain to investigate.
In a riotous adventure – which boasts the influence of Asterix co-creator Rene Goscinny – Tintin and friends must overcome violent kidnappers, deadly traps and unscrupulous rich adventurers to rescue the orange and themselves. With help from a gang of enterprising kids and big-hearted opera menace Bianca Castafiore can Tintin save the day?
Ouch. I don’t know what happened in the three years between ‘Tintin et le mystère de la Toison d’Or’ and this sad effort, but something massive must have happened for the whole cast to be swapped, aside from Tintin himself. I can’t even fathom what it was, but a complete changing of the guard (including the director) is not usually a good sign.
The screenwriters are the same however, so the only excuse that I can find for such a poor script is that the director was involved in the writing (nota bene: Philippe Condroyer was a first-time feature film director who has barely worked since!). Mind you, René Goscinny was also involved… so it should have been brilliant, seeing as he was quite the wordsmith.
Alas, ‘Tintin et les oranges bleues’ doesn’t make much sense; it’s a jumbled mess. And not only is it devoid of any substance, but it was made for the kiddies: the humour is unsubtle at best, with tons of terribly-performed slapstick. In fact, the acting, overall, is so over-the-top that only small children could turn a blind eye.
Jean-Pierre Talbot is the best of the bunch, but he has lost all flavour since the first one. In fact, he looks terribly tired, worn. And Tintin is no longer a sharp-witted journalist in this one. Instead, he relies on a bunch of kids to do his sleuthing for him – a device only used in low-brow children’s fare to make kids feel connected with the on-screen action.
The only improvement over the last one are Dupont et Dupond (Thomson and Thompson), who are annoying, but hardly as irritating as the ones from the first film were. And thank goodness for that, ’cause I don’t think I could have handled it. Mind you, the filmmakers made up for it by bringing in la Castafiore – an annoying presence in the Tintin books, but even more so here thanks to the shrillness of this clumsy non-actress.
I was so incredibly embarrassed by how horrible this thing is, that I felt the need to apologize a few times to a friend who had been eager to revisit the Tintin film he had seen in his youth. Thankfully, we discovered that he had seen the other one, not this hot, stinking cinematic tar.
Perhaps if he had allowed me to lobotomize him at the door (as I’m wont to do with guests, lest they find my company mind-numbing ), he could have enjoyed this stumble down memory lane. Unfortunately, this crummy mess can hardly be enjoyed by anyone with at least the mental faculties of a 6-year old.