Mortimer "Mo" Folchart (Brendan Fraser) makes his living as a repairer of old books. He and his daughter Meggie (Eliza Bennett) travel all over Europe stopping in antiquated bookshops. And in each one, Mo searches the entire collection for one book in particular, Inkheart.
Mo finally finds a copy, but just after he does, he is confronted by Dustfinger (Paul Bettany), one of the characters from the novel. Mo manages to run away, and he and Meggie flee to great aunt Elinor's (Helen Mirren) in Italy. But they aren't safe there. Dustfinger appears again, says he is working with Capricorn (Andy Serkis) now, and kidnaps the three of them.
Only when the group reaches Capricorn's castle does Mo explain what is happening. Seems he is a Silvertongue and has the ability to read characters into and out of books. Dustfinger and Capricorn are characters in Inkheart, but Mo wants to find a copy for a very personal reason. What do the characters want? Can Mo and his family escape?
The previews for this movie made it seem like I would love it. Heck, as a reader, the premise of characters traveling between a novel and the real world appeals to me. But the movie just seemed off to me.
And it's mainly a matter of expectations. I expected lots of references to characters from famous novels. There are some, but the main focus is on the characters from the book in question. I expected a fast paced action story. Yes, there were action scenes, but there were also long passages between them where the story moved forward rather slowly.
I did find myself getting lost in the story. The acting was top notch, and the special effects were jaw dropping. Heck, even the cinematography held impressive shots of lakes and castles.
A word of warning to parents. There are some frightening creatures and intense action sequences, including the climax. You might want to preview it before your let your young kids watch it, especially those who frighten easily.
I half expected to rush out and read the books after I caught this in the theater, and that still hasn't happened. If you watch the film, you'll enjoy it, but there's not reason to rush out to do so.