Inkheart (Warner Bros. Pictures, PG)

film_inkheart_sm.jpgThe best part of Inkheart is the look of the film. The characters are quickly thrown into a world of cobblestone streets and ancient castles, and everything looks believably run-down and medieval.

 

 

 

 

 

 

film_inkheart.jpg 

Mo Folchart (Brendan Fraser) is keeping quite a secret from his daughter Meggie (Eliza Hope Bennett). The girl thinks her mother abandoned the family for far-flung adventures years ago, but the truth is more interesting than Meggie could ever imagine.

While the family is on yet another trip searching for a copy of a sword-and-sorcery novel called Inkheart, Mo is ambushed by Dustfinger (Paul Bettany), a rogue who’s been following Mo and Meggie for years, hoping to commandeer any copy of the book they find.

It isn’t long before Meggie discovers her father’s dangerous gift: reading aloud from novels brings the characters and settings into the real world, and sends something from reality into the novel.

Inkheart is another in a long line of fanciful children’s stories where kids can save the world if given a chance. Of course, just because we’ve seen this sort of thing before doesn’t mean it’s not good fun to watch.

Without a doubt, the best part of Inkheart is the look of the film. The characters are quickly thrown into a world of cobblestone streets and ancient castles, and everything looks believably run-down and medieval. And the magic of CGI treats us to a cavalcade of mythical creatures that have the distinct look of critters we could really touch.

In the band of criminals that are "read out of" the novel, the film also gives us some of the most impressively skuzzy characters seen in movies recently. Being only partially read out, they materialized with mangled features or words from the novel etched on their faces and bodies. The overall effect is creepier than you might think.

For all its good looks, however, note that Inkheart is not the kind of movie you go to for the intellectual stimuli. The plot is pretty simple. That’s great for kids, but maybe not so great for the adults who’ll be taking them to the theater. Every twist in the story can be seen miles away by anyone who’s watched more than a handful of films.

Luckily, the performances help us forget about the simple plot. Bennett is very good as Meggie, the rare movie kid who is smart and brave without being unnaturally wise for her age. Bettany manages to be tortured and duplicitous but still have us rooting for Dustfinger. Fraser is just fine here as another everyday guy hurled into outrageous circumstances. It’s certainly not a stretch for him, and if he’s not careful he could become the poster child for mild-mannered action heroes. | Adrienne Jones

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply