Friday, January 23, 2009
A story that fails to stir the emotions
Put actors such as Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent in the same movie and you should be half way toward coming up with a winner. That's what I would have thought until I saw "Inkheart," the big-screen adaptation of a popular novel by Cornelia Funke. It appears as if great care was lavished on the movie's look, but as transferred to the screen by director Iain Softley, the story isn't all that involving. Brendan Fraser plays Mo, a man with a strange gift. When he reads aloud the characters in the book he's reading come to life. His daughter Maggie (Eliza Hope Bennett) learns about her dad's strange power and joins him in a search to rescue mom, who has disappeared inside a book during some kind of page-to-reality swap. Mirren plays Mo's acerbic aunt, a sour eccentric and a bit of a cliche. Broadbent portrays an author who eventually meets some of his creations. Fraser may be a bit outclassed by a British cast, and a promising cinematic premise proves only intermittently amusing.