Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Review (5.5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Jim Carrey stars as a few different versions of Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. In the movie, Lemony Snicket (Jude Law) recounts the story of the three Baudelaire children, who become orphans after an unfortunate fire kills their parents. They are put in the care of the closest (but distant) relative, Olaf, who is more interested in seizing the large fortune that accompanies the children than actually taking care of the kids. As a result, the kids are taken from his care and handed over to another rather odd relative, Uncle Monty (Billy Connolly). After he is the victim of a rather unfortunate event, the equally odd Aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep) takes over and also suffers an unfortunate fate. While all of these unfortunate events are occurring, Count Olaf continues to pursue the children and their money. So basically, there are three children, Count Olaf, a lot of money and a series of unfortunate events.

Unfortunately, I have to say, I did not love this movie. I thought it looked great, it had some funny moments, some good acting and a rather interesting story, but as a fan of Jim Carrey and a lover of many of his movies, I think this might be one of the few times that Carrey's performance was transcended by other cast members, particularly the children and Meryl Streep. They weren't head and shoulders above him but for any movie involving Jim Carrey, this is almost unheard of. He wasn't bad. But he just didn't bring that energy, that magic, that he brings to all of his movies. In fact, after seeing his lack of enthusiasm while he promoted this movie on David Letterman the other night, I'm not too sure he wants anything to do with Lemony Snicket in the future. He jokingly bad-mouthed the movie and I know that everything that comes out of his mouth has to be taken with a grain of salt, but he made not one, not two, but three or four disparging comments about the movie and that really has to make one wonder why he would do such a thing.

Nevertheless, despite Carrey's good, but not great, performance, I'm not too sure if Lemony Snicket is even a great movie for the kids. I happened to see the movie at a matinee in a theatre full of children and despite being brutally hungover as I watched the movie, the theatre lacked energy and was eerily quiet for long periods of time. I doubt that the hundreds of children that were in the theatre were as hungover as I. Perhaps it was the somewhat dark story - fires, death, money, violence - that caused the children to stare at the screen in confusion.

Overall, despite the fact that Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is a decent movie with a great, great actor in Jim Carrey, great visuals and special effects and a good supporting cast, I have to say that I left the theatre with a lukewarm feeling about this movie. I thought it was okay, but I didn't love it and I'm not sure how it will satisfy the children and really, in this movie's case, I think that is all that matters. It's just not a really exciting movie and too often is average. Jim Carrey is always money in the bank when it comes to movies, especially a movie where he is expected to let loose with his silliness. Unfortunately, I think his streak of successes might come to an end with Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events and as a fan of Carrey, that is unfortunate.

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