Do you remember how much silly fun you had watching the last Brendan Fraser movie? Which one was it? Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D? The Mummy 1, 2, or 3? Or was it George of the Jungle or Dudley DoRight? Brendan Fraser has always seemed comfortable doing cartoonish caracter in cartoonish movies. Sure he has done more serious roles, such as the pool boy in the James Whale biopic Gods and Monsters, but when you think of the next Brendan Fraser movie that is not what you think. Inkheart is a movie that in concept would have worked as the next Brendan Fraser adventure. It is a shame that it is only in concept because it does not even work on paper since is writing is one of the worst I have seen on adventure movies since the new Hulk movie.
Brendan Fraser plays Mo Folchart. The film is so forgettable that I just had to IMDBed that cause I could not even remember the main characters name. Mo is a silver-tongue, someone who can summon anything he reads from a book onto the world. So if he reads about treasure, treasure would instantly rain upon his living room. There is a catch – however- for everything that comes out of the book something else must go into the book. Too bad that the villain from an out-of-print novel entitled Inkheart, has accidentally been read out of the book and Mo’s wife was swallowed into the book. Now Mo, his daughter, a fire juggler from the book, and some character from the 1001 Arabian Nights must fight their way through literary characters to save her.
As I said before in concept that sounds sound enough. But that is where it stops. I would have thought the natural course of the film is to bring forth characters from classical literature from the sirens in The Odyssey to the Martians in War of the Worlds. Why not? Its premise is preposterous enough and it has Brendan Fraser in it. The makers could have gotten away with anything! But no, instead we are given only a few glimpses of the classics, mostly The Wizard of Oz, and a lot of made of characters from made up books no one could care about. It becomes even worse half way through when the rule of having to read is through out the window and whatever someone says can magically appeared.
Technically the film falls under the scope of the average. Its photography is nothing special, besides the numerous shots of beautiful Italian landscapes, which exist for no reason other than the director though they looked pretty. Its effects are nice but unoriginal, nothing new to see. The villain’s castle / lair is a neat piece of design but it could have been so much more. He could have summed the Death Star from the latest Star Wars novel and be much more badass. The same goes for his ultimate weapon with which he will try to take over the world.
I know you are thinking, “Don’t be ridiculous! That can’t happen” It is not me who is ridiculous. What is ridiculous, is that a film that a film with the most preposterous premise ever misses the whole idea of its premise. And that that same film has Brendan Fraser in it and we never get to see his goofy smile. That is what is ridiculous.