Spielberg: The Adventures of Tintin part 6

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Tintin, obsessed now, steers the plane carrying himself, his dog, Haddock and two bad guys into a storm Haddock calls “that wall of death,” leading to the first of Tintin‘s definitive set pieces, an action beat involving the plane, the storm, a boy pilot, a drunk, a bottle of medicinal alcohol, a sudden desert, a supercharged belch, a crash, an ill-timed parachute and a deadly propeller blade.  Definitive because it would have been unstageable in any convincing way outside of 3D computer animation.  The entirety of Tintin is gorgeous, but it’s sequences like this (and, to a lesser extent, the chase through the streets with Snowy after Tintin in the crate) where the movie comes into its own.  Note as well that the “wall of death” sequence is rooted in character (“We can’t go back” and “I can’t stop drinking”) and, as in any true action sequence, it changes the direction of the story while it’s happening.  Tintin and Haddock go into the storm as an obsessed boy and an unwilling coward, but the sequence ends with Tintin awakening Haddock’s courage and Haddock and Snowy rescuing Tintin from certain death — the first time anyone in the movie has shown a lick of responsibility toward anyone else.  The principals go into the sequence as a boy, a man and a dog, but the emerge from it a family, that most sacred of institutions in the Spielberg ethos.

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