Inkheart is a childrens book to film conversion telling the story of a man who can make objects and characters real by reading aloud.
It’s a simple tale that years ago a man (Brendan Fraser – The Mummy Franchise) was reading to his family and suddenly the evil characters arrived in the real world from the book and in return placed his wife inside it. So after that point he spends a decade looking for a copy of the book to try and read his wife out of it only to go on an adventure with his now teenage daughter and try to win against the forces of evil. As a film Inkheart plays out like a nice generic fantasy/adventure with some big creatures and massively overblown characters. The casting apart from Frasier is basicly anyone whos anyone in terms of British cinema actors with Andy Serkis (Gollum, Lord of the Rings) starring as the villain.
The rest would be known to most as “the guy/girl from” with actors like Sienna Guillory (Jill Valentine – Resident Evil: Apocalypse), Paul Bettany (Wimbledon/Knights Tale) and Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge). Of the actors here Paul Bettany and Sienna Guillory put extremely powerful performances in. Even though through most of the film Sienna is mute there is a real passion to her performance. As for Andy Serkis, he is incredibly underutilised which is a dire shame. The inclusion of Jennifer Connelly in a single repeated flashback is more of a curiousity than anything else.
Overall Inkheart is a film that works well for most of it’s running time, even for adults. There is a problem however in the form of an extremely forulaic ending that feels obvious and unimaginative so it’s a hard one to call. The best advice one could give is to advise that the trailer is watched before making a judgement call rather than a blind buy.
There are a couple of quick extras included but nothing significant on this release that you would watch more than once. There’s a featurette entitled Eliza (Bennett who play’s the daughter to Brendan Fraser) reads to us (3:48) and the theatrical trailer.
InKheart is out from April 13th on Region 2 DVD. Plus if you want to read more about the movie be sure to check out our original theatrical review.