– Violet Baudelaire (Emily Browning), a clever 14 years old damzel who is a natural born inventor
– Klaus (Liam Aiken), slightly younger than Emily, a clever book-wormish type
– Sunny (Kara and Shelby Hoffman) is just a 2 years old toddler, mostly interested in chewing things…)))
It is quite quickly revealed that Count Olaf, a very unsuccessful (although surprisingly gifted) actor is an unsavory character and his intentions are of most evil nature… And then the film really begins.
This is by no means a bad film and in fact there are many good scenes. The children are very likeable and it is easy to root for them, especially considering how despicable, cruel and merciless is the main villain. There are some colourful secondary characters like the well meaning but completely clueless Mr Poe (Timothy Spall), the lawyer in charge of Baudelaire’s estate, gentle but slightly mad Dr Montgomery Montgomery (Billy Connolly) and harmlessly psychotic aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep).
However, considering that everybody (other than the children) in this film is either completely insane (that includes Count Olaf) or totally cut from reality, this film is really WEIRD. The visuals are also very peculiar – to say the least… When you add some creepy scary scenes, all of this makes this film unwatchable for little children, like younger than 8. There is not enough humour in this film and it actually is a waste of Jim Carey’s talent (some of his comedies actually were good). Also, the whole mystery which is announced in the beginning is solved with a very anti-climactic way at the end. And finally, because this film was (of course!) supposed to launch a franchise (it will not happen), there is not even a real ending…
For all those reasons this film is an average thing – watchable, but ultimately nothing more. Watch at your own risk.