Inkheart

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Brendan Fraser Brings Characters to Life in Inkheart

Mar 15, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Interesting story.  Good cast.  Entertaining overall.

Cons:Pacing a bit uneven.   Not much character development.

The Bottom Line: Inkheart has an interesting story and is entertaining overall even though it has a few issues.


I was interested in seeing Inkheart when I first saw the previews.  For whatever reason, I wasn't able to see the movie when it was in theaters.  It recently turned up on HBO and I was able to watch it.

A Silvertongue is someone who can cause characters and things from books to appear in the real world when they read aloud.  Some people with the ability don't know they have it, like Mortimer.  He only discovers his ability after reading from the book Inkheart and several characters appear.  Mortimer never reads out loud again after that.  

Nine years later, Mortimer finds another copy of the book and then see Dustfinger, one of the characters from Inkheart.  Dustfinger wants to return to his world in the book.  When Mortimer refuses, Dustfinger turns to Capricorn, the villain from the book.  Capricorn wants Mortimer to read more things out of books.  Meggie, Mortimer's daughter, is being held hostage as a way to force her father to do what Capricorn wants.

Inkheart is based on the book of the same name by Cornelia Funke.  I've never read the book, so I don't know what changes have been made.  The book is actually the first in a trilogy.  When I was double checking some information about the movie online, I did see something that mentioned a second movie being made, but I don't know how accurate that information is. 

I think that Inkheart has a very interesting idea for the plot and that does help make the movie more entertaining.  Characters from books being able to be pulled into the real world is intriguing.  It would be cool to be able to interact with some characters, though it could also be problematic if a nasty villain turns up.  That is what happens to Mortimer when he discovers his ability.  Capricorn causes all sorts of problems in the real world and he intends to do everything he can to make sure he never returns to the book.  Capricorn does add conflict to what is happening.  I don't think there is suspense to what is going on, though some viewers may feel differently.  

The first several minutes introduce the idea of a person being a Silvertongue.  A narrator provides a little bit of information while Mortimer is showing reading.  Once it is established that Mortimer is a Silvertongue and unaware of what he can do, the movie jumps forward twelve years.  Within a few minutes, he finds a copy of Inkheart and sees Dustfinger, which sets other things in motion.  It doesn't take long for Capricorn to send his goons after Mortimer.  It does seem like the pace is a bit rushed for a while before it slows down and even drags a bit during other sequences.  Several things are happening over the course of the movie, but the pacing is rather uneven.

Action turns up in several scenes throughout Inkheart.  Most of it involves Mortimer having to deal with the various goons that work with Capricorn.  Dustfinger is also involved in some of the action scenes.  There are a few chases and fights that are mild and shouldn't bother anyone.  Capricorn found another Silvertongue that he has forced to read various characters and creatures out of different books.  The other Silvertongue, Darius, has a stutter which has caused issues with the characters and creatures he has read out of books.  Some of those characters and creatures could be disturbing to younger viewers.  I do think that the movie is family friendly overall, but a few things that happen may upset or even scare younger children.  Parents should check the movie out first.

Mortimer works repairing old books.  His career has given him the chance to search numerous bookstores for another copy of Inkheart.  He is a bit obsessed with finding the book.  He has kept some things from his daughter, but it is clear that he loves her.  Brendan Fraser is good in the part.  Meggie does what she can to help, sometimes rushing into situations without fully thinking things through.  Eliza Bennett does well with the part.  Eleanor is a relative adores books and gets involved in what is going on.  Helen Mirren is good in the part even though she doesn't have a lot to do.

Dustfinger is a character that Mortimer accidently brought into the real world.  Dustfinger is determined to return to his world and he is willing to do anything to make that happen, even work with Capricorn.  Dustfinger has to struggle with a few things over the course of the movie.  Paul Bettany is good in the part.  Bettany's wife Jennifer Connolly briefly appears as Dustfinger's wife.  Flatnose and Basta are two of the goons who work for Capricorn.  The two of them turn up without really doing a lot or being developed.

Capricorn is another of the characters that Mortimer accidently brought into the real world.  Capricorn continues his villainous ways once out of the book.  He likes some things about the real world even as he attempts to recreate a few things from the book.  Andy Serkis does a good job with the part.  Jim Broadbent turns up later in the movie as Fenoglio, the author of Inkheart.

Main Cast
    
Eliza Bennett - Meggie
Paul Bettany - Dustfinger
Jim Broadbent - Fenoglio
Brendan Fraser - Mortimer
Helen Mirren - Eleanor
Andy Serkis - Capricorn

Iain Softley - Director

Inkheart first appeared on the HBO channels in February of 2010.  I have seen the DVD a few times and while I know there are extras on it, I don't know exactly what they are.

Inkheart is an entertaining movie overall even though there are some issues with it. 

Brendan Fraser Reviews
Journey to the Center of the Earth ~ Looney Tunes: Back in Action ~ The Mummy ~ The Mummy Returns ~ The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor ~


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