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This obviously is an absolute and total "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" rip-off, but does it really matter all that much in this case? In my opinion not. "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library" is a perfectly fine, adventurous and entertaining movie for little kids and that is all that really matters.

Just imaging "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" set in a library and you get "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library". Oh and take a couple of millions away from its budget. It maybe isn't the most impressive looking movie, it still manages to capture a certain magic to help to make this a perfect adventurous and entertaining movie for the young ones. And this movie very obviously is aimed toward young kids, so lets please also look at it that way and lets not get to serious or deep about it, since that obviously also never the were the movie its intentions.

This absolutely would have been a movie that I would have loved watching as a young, lets say 10-year old, kid. Its colorful, there are plenty of fantasy elements and it also never gets too childish about anything. Sure, its story, humor and characters are all incredibly simplistic but it at least never feels exaggerated with either its style of way of storytelling. It isn't talking down to children, but rather tickles their imagination, as well as their intelligence.

Escape rooms are popular nowadays, so sure, why not add that to this movie as well? There are plenty of small puzzles throughout the movie, that kids at home should also be able to solve and play along with. Again, nothing too childish, but something challenging as well as well Incorporated in the movie. It keeps the story going and helps to make the movie both more adventurous and entertaining to watch, as it takes its characters to all sorts of places, meeting up with all sorts of wonderful fantasy characters. I never thought I would see a kids movie featuring witches, giants, as well as the Frankenstein monster in it, but here it is.

Still a shame that the main character never really work out that well though. This mostly is because basically ever character in this movie is either an incredibly formulaic or far too exaggerated one. Also the main character himself isn't all that well developed or likable enough. I just can't imaging any young kids wanting to be just like young Kyle Keeley from watching this movie.

The acting itself is pretty good by its young cast but at the same time, well, they are just acting too hard. There are all good at what they do, but there also is absolutely nothing natural about their performances or the way they respond to things. Rather than watching a bunch of kids you are watching a bunch of young actors who pretend to be kids.

But all things considering, this a surprisingly great and enjoyable movie to watch. Its low-budget never prevents the movie from turning into a wonderful looking and perfectly imaginative adventure movie, with plenty of variety in it as well. There is not necessarily a main villain, not necessarily a solid main story, but it basically remains a perfect collection of entertaining sequences and fantasy aspect, that make this movie a perfectly fine one to watch for young kids (and yes, probably for most parents/grandparents as well).

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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