Inkheart (PG)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner15/12/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 106 mins

Enjoyable fantasy adventure in which the strong cast, likeable characters and impressive special effects provide just enough distraction for you to ignore the plot holes.

What's it all about?
Based on the popular novel by Cornelia Funke (the first in a trilogy), Inkheart stars Brendan Fraser as single father Mo Folchart, who has the extraordinary ability to bring fictional characters to life by reading aloud. However, there's a problem: when a character is brought to life, a real person disappears into the book's pages, as Mortimer discovered to his cost when his wife Resa (Sienna Guillory) disappeared while he was reading to their three-year-old daughter Meggie (Eliza Hope Bennett).

Nine years later, Mortimer finds a copy of Inkheart, the book he's been searching for ever since his wife disappeared, but before he can use it to rescue her, the villain of Inkheart (Andy Serkis as Capricorn) kidnaps Meggie (now 12), who has inherited her father's gift. So in order to rescue both Meggie and Resa, Mo assembles a group of allies, both fictional and real, that includes: homesick fire juggler Dustfinger (Paul Bettany), Meggie's great aunt Elinor (Helen Mirren), Inkheart's author Fenoglio (Jim Broadbent) and Arabian Nights refugee Farid (Rafi Gavron).

The Good
The performances are excellent: Fraser can do heroics-slash-fatherly concern in his sleep and he doesn't disappoint here, while Eliza Hope Bennett proves a likeable child actress and there's reliable support from the likes of Mirren, Broadbent and Serkis. However, the standout is Paul Bettany, who essentially steals the film as Dustfinger, delivering a performance that's simultaneously mysterious, funny, and moving.

Director Iain Softley keeps the action moving at a decent pace and ensures that it all builds to a satisfying climax. To that end, the effects work is excellent, particularly during the exciting finale.

The Bad
That said, the film is ridden with plot holes and the story's internal logic completely falls apart if you stop to think about it.

Worth seeing?
Inkheart is an enjoyable, well acted fantasy adventure that children will love and adults won't resent being dragged to. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Inkheart (PG)
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Content updated: 19/04/2019 00:05

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