There are two Spielberg adaptations competing in the cinemas at the moment – The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse. Let’s see how they are faring…
War Horse, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, has a current Rotten Tomatoes rating of 78% positive, from a total of 170 reviews. In comparison, 75% of the 182 reviews for The Adventures of Tintin are positive.
Also from Rotten Tomatoes, 76% of the audience are said to have “liked” War Horse while 80% liked Tintin.
So things are fairly even so far… but what are the critics saying?
Joe Morgenstern from the Wall Street Journal very cryptically stated that War Horse “may stay in the mind's eye longer than it lingers in the heart”, while Tintin “becomes a succession of dazzling set pieces devoid of simple feelings.”
Peter Travers from Rolling Stone said Tintin “hits home for the kid in all of us who wants to bust out and run free”, while Claudia Puig from USA Today predicted that War Horse “will likely take its place alongside beloved family films.”
Critical of the central premise of War Horse is David Denby from the New Yorker, with a big, green, rotten tomato splat:
“We never ask why the production is devoted to an animal while ten million men are dying, but when Spielberg does the story realistically, it seems trivial, even a little daft.”
The equivalent is Diva Velez from thedivareview.com, who criticizes what is arguably the central premise of Tintin: its animated action:
“Noisy, repetitive and obnoxious, The Adventures of Tintin's sensory overload is somehow blindingly dull. The barrage of onscreen overstimulation will keep kids glued to their seats, but won't make them care about or cherish the characters.”
Despite what the critics say, the big test is of course the Box Office.
Since its release on December 26, Tintin has raked in $62 million in the US. War Horse – which was released on the same day – is trailing very close behind, with $56.9 million.
Have you seen the movies? Which did you prefer?