Inkheart is a scattered collection of ideas, most of them cavalierly mixed together and barely fleshed out. Director Iain Softley's adaptation of Cornelia Funke's 2004 best-seller is a fantasy film built from spare parts - deliberately so, as it involves a hero known as a "silvertongue" who, by reading aloud, can bring fictional characters and objects off the page and into the real world. Shortly after the birth of his daughter, bookbinder Mo Folchart (Brendan Fraser) unintentionally transports villains from the titular swords-and-sorcery novel into our universe, and sends back in their place - because this supernatural gift is of a tit-for-tat variety - his wife Resa (Sienna Guillory). Determined to set things right, he sets out to find a copy of the rare "Inkheart," a quest that years later leads him and pre-teen daughter Meggie (Eliza Hope Bennett) to Europe. There, they discover not only the highly sought-after paperback but also trouble in the form of Dustfinger (Paul Bettany), a fire-dancer who, eager to return to his book world, hands Mo and Meggie over to chief "Inkheart" scoundrel Capricorn (Andy Serkis), who's using silvertongues to make himself rich, collect famous literary creatures (a tick-tocking crocodile, winged monkeys, a unicorn) and usher into our dimension the monstrous Shadow.