When I first saw the A Series Of Unfortunate Events books, I was immediately attracted to them. I actually read the first six. I was losing interest quickly by the third, but thought Iíd give Daniel Handler a chance. Handler is the real name of the author of the Unfortunate series, which are credited to one Lemony Snicket. Unfortunately I read the pretty God awful Unauthorized Biography of Lemony Snicket and basically swore off the rest of the books. Now Brad Silberling has directed this whimsically dark movie, which combines the first three books, The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, and The Wide Window (gotta love all that alliteration!). No, the Harry Potter series neednít look over itís shoulder (in either film or book form).
Unfortunate Events tells the story of the Baudelaire children, Violet and Klaus and baby sister Sunny, who are handed a tragedy and are put into the custody of an evil distant relative, Count Olaf.
Well, Count Olaf cares nothing for the kids, just the fortune they will receive when Violet turns 18 (sheís only 14 at the moment). So the kids have to try and escape the evil clutches of the nefarious Count.
Over and over.
Count Olaf is played by Jim Carrey in all his over the top glory. He does a good job, but I donít feel heís good enough to save the movie. Meryl Streep and Billy Connelly play two of the childrensí possible guardians, and do nicely in their roles. But they canít save the movie either.
The kids are played by Emily Browning and Liam Aiken and they do a nice job too. And since sheís only like 16 years old, Iím not gonna mention that Emily Browning has scarily sensual lips. Damn.
Luis Guzman, Jane Adams, and Jennifer Coolidge are also in this flick, and I hope they got a decent paycheck out of it, because their roles may as well have been played by extras.
Brad Silberling directed this film like a more accessible Tim Burton. He definitely tried and I appreciate the effort. The movie looks pretty good, but itís kind of boring at times and not as funny as it thinks it is. Robert Gordon adapted Handlerís books, so I guess the fault lies mostly with them. But something tells me this movie will still make a decent amount of scratch to ensure that further misadventures of the Baudelaire children make it to the big screen.