Home Movie Reviews Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events Movie: Too Much Jim Carrey

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events Movie: Too Much Jim Carrey


Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events with Jim Carrey.

Three of Daniel Handler’s Gothic tales about three siblings on the run from a ruthless and greedy relative are given the Hollywood treatment in Brad Silberling’s Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Not surprisingly, the $100m+ film boasts first-rate production values, with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s lenses perfectly capturing (and enhancing) the eerie Gothic-ness of production designer Rick Heinrichs’ preternatural creations.

On the other hand, as befits most Hollywood fare, Silberling’s direction and the film’s screenplay (credited to Robert Gordon) take a mechanical approach to Handler’s stories, getting many of the unfortunate events right while obliterating whatever magic and wit that could be found in the original work. (Handler’s screenplay adaptation of his stories was reportedly discarded once director Silberling came onboard.)

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events begins after a house fire kills the wealthy parents of the three Baudelaire children: the bookworm Klaus (Liam Aiken), the inventive Violet (Emily Browning), and the toddler Sunny (Kara Hoffman and Shelby Hoffman). A stupid judge grants guardianship rights to Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), a distant relative who sports a combination of bad hair, bad teeth, and bad manners. The kids sense that the Count is no good, but a family friend, Mr. Poe (Timothy Spall), is too idiotic to realize the obvious and leaves the children in the care of the evil Count.

At first, Count Olaf treats the children like slaves. He then realizes that they would be better off dead – at least as far as he is concerned. With the kids out of the way, Olaf would inherit the Baudelaires’ money. After a failed attempt at the kids’ life, Olaf loses custody of the children. Even so, he will not let the trio just run away with their fortune.

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events with Meryl Streep.

Thus, the Count comes up with different disguises in an attempt to bump off the three obnoxious children who are keeping him from becoming rich. The kids recognize him right away, but imbecile adults like the snake specialist Uncle Monty (Billy Connolly) and the realtor-phobic Aunt Josephine (a disgracefully wasted Meryl Streep) don’t. The price of not listening to children can be deadly. Or perhaps just deadly dull.

Snickery Jim Carrey, hardly the subtlest of actors, plays the villainous Count Olaf as if Lemony Snicket’s were his own private one-man show. The story suffers as a result, but that surely is of little concern to the filmmakers. When you are producing a film with a nine-figure budget, what matters are a big box office name and groovy special effects that will fill in seats at movie houses.

Thus, the beautifully-packaged but heartless, soulless Lemony Snicket’s plods along for nearly two hours, as each unfortunate – and interminable – event is followed by another.

LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS (2004). Director: Brad Silberling. Screenplay: Robert Gordon; from Daniel Handler’s books The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, and The Wide WindowCast: Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, Liam Aiken, Emily Browning, Jude Law, Timothy Spall, Catherine O’Hara, Billy Connolly, Dustin Hoffman, Craig Ferguson, Luis Guzmán, Jennifer Coolidge, Jaimie Harris.

9 comments

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9 comments

Katherine Soliman -

This isn’t as good as the book.

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dan shwonga -

Take it from a kid.

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dan shwonga -

Hello, I agree with Gigi15 the movie could have been better, way better, but I thought Jim Carrey was an amazing Count Olaf. he really had Olafs shiny eyes, although his act as Stephano was funny, I did not imagine him to look like this. You should not get the impression that Jim Carrey is a horrible actor because he is amazing.

P.S. I am 10 years old

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Gigi15 -

It turns out my other comment did work never mind but I’m still curious about this whole train scene thing.

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Gigi15 -

Hey for some reason my other comment like didn’t work but what I wanted to say was like I didn’t like the film and I was asking why there was a scene like wiith a train in it when there Is no train like in the books. I just think that it’s like a bad adaption.

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Gigi15 -

Hey. I totally agree with the review of this film and I think that it could have been so much better. I read the books a while ago and they were Acctually good. I thought they were going to be like totally depressing but they weren’t. Anyway this film sucks in my opinion anyway I don’t mean any offence to the director and stuff. Seriously what is up with that train scene I don’t remember anything about a train scene in the books

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Unknown -

This film completely wrecks the books and the books are a whole lot better by far. I was really disappointed when I saw this film it is so different and I loved the first three books I think the film could have been much much better. But Jim Carey was really good in it even though he wasn’t like Count Olaf at all. I just think that it’s a shame to spend so much money on a film and it just doesn’t work the way it should.

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Anonymous -

Hi I hav read all of the books and I loved them so much but I think that the film is a really bad adaption of the first three books and the scene with the train doesn’t even happen in them. It’s like a completely different story!!!!!

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cmarg5 -

hi i am caitlin margerison i am only 10 terning 11 on october 26 yay i have bean reading your books and i am on the 2nd book and i love it so can you plz right back

thanks caitlin

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