Release Date: February 23rd, 2007 by New Line Cinema.
The Cast: Jim Carrey, Virginia Madsen, Logan Lerman, Danny Huston, Lynn Collins, Rhona Mitra, Michelle Arthur, Mark Pellegrino.
Directed by Joel Schumacher.
BASIC PREMISE: While reading the book The Number 23, Walter Sparrow (Carrey) becomes obsessed with the number 23 and tries to figure out its purpose.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The Number 23 has very little to compensate for its often contrived, bizarre and implausible plot. Walter Sparrow, played by the typecast Jim Carrey, believes that the author of the book The Number 23 is communicating to something to him through the number 23 and thinks that Fingerling, the character in the book, represents himself. Virginia Madsen plays his wife, Agatha, who calls him crazy as he sinks further into madness while obsessing over the number 23’s significance. Interestingly, Madsen also plays a wife with a crazy husband in, The Astronaut Farmer, a different yet enjoyable film that also opens this weekend. Anyway, so, in a contrived plot, psychologist (Huston) might be flirting with Agatha, just his character in book does. As the plot progresses, it becomes more gimmicky with visually-stylish yet awkward transitions to the actions that take place in the book, which Walter takes a while to finish. A mysterious dog shows up out of nowhere and, although its presence is explained in the third act, it still manages to be unintentionally funny whenever it shows up. This is Fernley Phillips’ first screenplay and it certainly shows. He explains too much to audience, yet still leaves a lot of plot holes which diminishes the dramatic tension. Most importantly, it’s very disappointing that the ending simply doesn’t make any sense relative to the rest of the film.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Implausible and contrived.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 8
IN A NUTSHELL: An implausible, contrived, disappointing thriller.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
The "N" Menu