Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events ---- An Unfortunate Film Adaptation

Mar 15, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Carrey at first, the children, narrator

Cons:weak adaptation of story, some really long lulls in story, turns out to be boring

The Bottom Line: My final recommendation is not a good one, because I think the film falls flat and doesn't fulfill any promises of being interesting or good.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

Jim Carrey's recent film, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is an unfortunate adaptation of a set of novels pen by Daniel Handler. I hope that the novels were better than the screenplay for the film, and from how much I have heard the books talked up, I think it is a safe bet. Maybe I was just the wrong type of audience member, and by not reading the books, I was left out in the cold. My understanding of the story came only from this movie, and after having seen this one, I am weary of sequels being created from it. Focusing only on the premise, it seemed like this would be an interesting film to say the least. I could tell from the previews that they were gearing it to be a children's films that appealed to a wider audience, but I think it lacked the drama that could have won over that older audience. Sure there are "cute" moments, but they just didn't draw me in as I had expected.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events tells the story of three children that have lost their parents in a suspicious fire. They are quite a wealthy family, but it seems that the children haven't been introduced to a number of family members. So, post-fire, they will meet Aunts and Uncles that they never even knew existed, all while being tested by an evil man that wants to take their inherited fortune from them. The Bauedelarire orphans are 14-year old Violet, 12-year old Klaus, and an infant named Sunny. They are recognizable children, with Emily Browning (Violet) having been in both Ghost Ship and Ned Kelly, and Liam Aiken as the cut kid from Stepmom and Road to Perdition. The baby (Sunny) is played by a set of twins, and could earn some points from some viewers for her "cuteness". They are good for the parts, and equal to the acting task, so it wasn't them that let me down, but rather the story as a whole.

After learning about the fate of their parents, the Bauedelarire children become wards of the state, while being pursued by an actor named Count Olaf. He claims at first to be relation to the children, but later reappears as many different characters that pretend to have an interest in the Bauedelarire families work. This is where the story starts to get quite annoying to me, because the children (and the audience) recognize that Count Olaf is just in disguise, but nobody will listen to the plea of the kids to check him out. This happens more than once in the movie, and it just really took the film down a notch spending all that time trying to discredit the kids claims. It also wasted a lot of time with Jim Carrey on the screen, which probably could have been used more to explore his talents in the role. In the end it didn't even seem like a Jim Carrey film, but rather a movie with him in it.

There are various celebrities that have smaller parts in the movie including Meryl Streep as Aunt Josephine, and Catherine O'Hara as Justice Strauss, but none of them really blew me away either. It seemed like their talents ended up being wasted on a terrible script as well, and what could have been a good idea for a movie, ends up being something that can barely tread water. Their was no real suspense for me in the story, and as the children try to escape Count Olaf again and again, it just becomes trying, rather than raising my interest. The movie really falls flat in that regard, and wasn't really worthy of being viewed again. A few of the small bright spots include Jude Law as the narrator of the story, and a few funny quips uttered by Sunny in her baby talk. Those few aspects not-withstanding, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events really just wasted my time. It isn't a good film, and I don't even think that people who enjoy it the first time around will find a need to purchase the DVD. I certainly don't recommend it, and I now hope that a sequel is not given the go-ahead.

Recommend this product? No

Viewing Format: DVD

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