A Sweet & Sour Lemon
Before the release of "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" I had never even heard of the series of children's books it was based on which I must say is of no surprise as I haven't been a child in a long time nor have I any children. I mention that to sort of set the scene as I am sure there are those who absolutely love this movie where me, well impressed but not enamoured is how I would put it. Impressed because it is visually stunning, well acted and with a wonderful comic darkness but whilst I didn't dislike the storyline I found it too episodic lacking the flow which I yearned for.
After a mysterious fire claimed the lives of their parents Violet (Emily Browning), Karl (Liam Aiken - Stepmom) and Sunny Baudelaire (Kara Hoffman, Shelby Hoffman) find themselves as orphans and wealthy ones at that thanks to their parents inheritance which when Violet is of age they will be able to use. But in the meantime they find themselves in the care of a distant relative, Count Olaf (Jim Carrey - Bruce Almighty) who has only taken them in in order to get his hands on the fortune even if that means killing the children.
Let me tell you the positives about "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events", it is visually brilliant. The wonderful buildings, the stunning locations, the look of the characters it is all simply visually brilliant. There is a dark, gothic quirkiness to it which almost feels like it is paying homage to Roald Dahl with its eccentric look. In fact another name comes to mind as it has a touch of the Tim Burton about it.
It is also wonderfully acted with Jim Carrey owning this movie with a wonderfully quirky performance as Count Olaf and a few other characters. But it isn't one of those over the top arm waving performances just one where his inner ability to be quirky with strange voices and wide eyes makes the performance. But Carrey is not the only one on fine form as Emily Browning as Violet and Liam Aiken as Karl are just as good and at the same time thanks to some amusing subtitles Kara and Shelby Hoffman as Sunny is a lot of fun. I could go on because "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" also features the talents of Timothy Spall, Meryl Streep and Billy Connolly.
But my problems come from the storyline which I accept is a lot of fun with all the quirkiness, imaginative ideas and brilliant dialogue. But it is very episodic and whilst that probably won't bother young children I needed more flow to it to really keep me interested. Having said that there is this wonderful mystery going on as well which certainly helps when things get a bit too jumpy.
What this all boils down to is that "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" is thankfully a movie which is entertaining for both children and adults but for me the episodic nature spoils it ever so slightly.