Director: Brad Silberling
Starring: Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, Emily Browning,
Liam Aiken, Kara & Shelby Hoffman, Billy Connolly, Timothy
Spall, Catherine O'Hara, Cedric the Entertainer, Jude Law as
RunTime: 1 hr 50 mins
Released By: UIP
Date: 03 March 2005
sorry to tell you that the movie you are reading about is
extremely unpleasant, an expression that here means, “it
involves three ingenious orphans, a sinister villain and a
hair-raising misadventure.” It is the story of the Baudelaire
siblings who, although unusually clever and charming, lead
lives filled with misery and woe. In this alarming cinematic
event alone, you will encounter a terrible fire, dim lighting,
high tragedy, a giant snake, low comedy, man-eating leeches
and Jim Carrey.
I am bound to continue my research into the unfortunate events
that befall the doomed Baudelaire orphans at the hands of
the sinister Count Olaf, but you are free to seek lighter
fare, like a documentary about cheese fondue.
all due respect,
mind the fact that you have never read any of the books in
the series. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate
Events possess a much simpler plotline among the lots of children’s
books (Think Harry Potter or Artemis Fowl). It's a fortunate
relief then for those audiences who have trouble following
complicated plotting and a barrage of characters.
story as narrated by Lemony Snicket (played in silhouette
form and voice by Jude Law in his melodic English accent)
follows the misadventures of the three Baudelaire orphans
after their bizarre death of their parents. With Count Olaf
(Jim Carrey in another make-up role) eyeing their massive
fortunes and resorting to no less murder, the orphans had
a hard time staying long enough with a suitable guardian.
mind-nerving parts are watching how the Baudelaire orphans
got themselves out of unusual tight spots. The eldest, Violet
who has a gift for coming up with nifty ideas, Klaus who possess
photographic memory and the youngest, an infant called Sunny
who hilariously bites and mumbles her way through. Meryl Streep
turns up in the middle of the movie as the uncanny Aunt Josephine.
There should be no qualms about Streep's comic timing (see
"Death Becomes Her") but her role in this doesn't
require her to do much other than acting weird and talking
weird. "Rain Man" Dustin Hoffman appears as an uncredited
cameo at the end.
the man who make us laugh and go crazy with him in "Ace
Ventura" and "Me, Myself and Irene", Jim "The
Mask" Carrey turns in a bland performance as the unethical
Count Olaf. Is it of late that starring in too much serious
projects liked "Man on the Moon", "Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" causing him to lose much
of his past energetic comedic performances? Seriously, Carrey
has to brush up those rusty talents of his.
the materials given, visionary and wacky director Tim Burton
would have injected a more lively, humourous element if handed
the task. It's a pity to see director Brad Silberling ("Casper")
struggling to bring the characters to live. However, credit
must be given to Silberling for lifting the immerse visual
delights from the book to the big screen.
much so, you might go in awe by the technical achievements
of the movie. The visual effects, realistic matt paintings
and the zany make-up of Count Olaf by Kevin Yagher ("Sleepy
Hollow") are ingenious. The lush set decorations and
costume designs are a plus to this exotic world too. However,
the severe lack of story layers and interesting plot twists
resulted in a monotonous and sluggish pacing.
Jim Carrey’s rubber face has past his life shelf. What’s
truly comedic and enlivening is in fact cute, little Sunny
whom the audience will find more bone tickling and entertaining.
Not to mention the artwork style end credits which are more
captivating than the movie.
Review by Linus.T.