Review - Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events

Jim Carrey in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Jim Carrey in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events




Somewhere near the end of this highly anticipated children’s adventure movie there’s a cameo by Dustin Hoffman. He just blurs on, says a couple of indistinct phrases and is not seen again. The pointlessness of his appearance is indicative of what’s wrong with this film, a series of disconnected and poorly motivated events which no amount of star power – Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, Billy Connolly, Timothy Spall – can give shape to. There’s even narration courtesy of Jude Law, though it could be Father Christmas for all the difference it makes. The plot follows three young orphans, bookish Klaus, resourceful Emily and gurgling infant Sunny, as they are farmed out to a series of dotty relatives, pursued all the way by the despicably evil Count Olaf (Jim Carrey doing his Ace Ventura thing), who’s interested only in their fortune. Unusually for a children’s film, the young actors are actually rather engaging, they’re good performers who do their best to be believable, normal Edwardian kids. Production design is impressive too – as if Tim Burton at his most feverishly gothic had ram-raided an Arthur Ransome library – and the famous names all work hard at performances that are deliberately grotesque and in any other film would be enjoyable. What’s missing is any dramatic thread, leading to the growing dread that any minute another new relative will arrive and the film will go on for ever. This is the first three Snicket books telescoped into one film. Ten more to go. Unfortunately.
© Steve Morrissey 2004


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imdb poster Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
Run time: 108 min
Rating: 6.8
Genres: Adventure | Comedy | Family
Director: Brad Silberling
Stars: Jim Carrey, Liam Aiken, Jude Law
Trivia: When a massive fire kills their parents, three children are delivered to the custody of cousin and stage actor Count Olaf, who is secretly plotting to steal their parents’ vast fortune.
Storyline Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are three intelligent young children who receive terrible news that their parents have died in a fire and have left them an enormous fortune not to be used until the eldest child is of age. When they are sent to live with Count Olaf, a greedy distant relative, they soon learn he is trying to steal their fortune for himself. Written by jackwhiteyouremyhero
Plot Keywords: count, fire, orphan, children, death
Box Office Budget: $140,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $361,125 (Japan) (6 May 2005)
Gross: $1,918,915 (Japan) (13 May 2005)