Inkheart (2008)

Cover of "Inkheart"
Cover of Inkheart

Story:  A girl and her father go on a quest to save her mother who has vanished by magic.

Director:  Ian Softley  (Hackers, Wings of the Dove)

Author:  It’s based on a trilogy of  fantasies by Cornelia Funke.  They are Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath. I attempted to read the first book this summer but failed.  I might try again now that I’ve seen the movie.

Cast:  Brendan Fraser (Mo); Eliza Bennett (Meggie); Paul Bettany (Dustfingers); Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent

Comments: I enjoyed seeing Brendan Fraser again.  I seem to have lost track of him but maybe he’ll make a few more movies.  I also was happy to see Paul Bettany again since I liked him so much as Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale.

Helen Mirren is a treat in the movie, and lent it an air of authenticity as it grew more fantastical.

The concept of reading stories aloud can make them real is an entertaining one.  However, it begs the question why unscrupulous people wouldn’t read a sci-fi military book and pull out  a bunch of advanced weapons and take over the world.  Apparently, the books on hand were set in historical periods.

Roger Ebert pointed out that it might scare children that if they read aloud, their mothers will disappear.  That’s a good point, although it can’t be much more disturbing than Labyrinth‘s premise.

It takes the movie an extraordinarily long time to reveal why and how the mother went missing.  Once the action starts up, everything moves along smartly.

Worth it?  Yes.

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