Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Number 23: Grade C


The Number 23 (2007)

Jim Carrey, Virginia Madsen, Director Joel Schumacher

It’s hard to say why this movie fails, but it’s not Jim Carrey. He does a terrific job in a dramatic role without any mugging. His character has a sense of humor, (and having him be a dogcatcher is a subtle nod to his Ace Ventura days), but he gives a full range acting performance. Madsen doesn’t have much of a role as his wife but does her part well. Carrey becomes obsessed by seeing the number 23 everywhere he looks (if you include arithmetic operations, obscure code substitutions, reversals, and other transforms that make everything come out to be 23). That nonsense just goes on and on. Unless you happen to suffer from OCD yourself, it is fast-forward boring. When the story finally does take shape later in the film it is highly improbable and does not fit with what has gone before, especially the part his wife has played. There are so many red herrings and loose ends that the so-called surprise ending comes off as totally arbitrary, unbelievable, and uninteresting. The photography is beautiful, creative, and surreal however. I recommend turning the sound off and just watching the great pictures.

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