Director: Joel Schumacher
Cast: Jim Carrey, Virginia Madsen, Logan
Lerman, Danny Huston, Logan Lerman, Rhona Mitra, Maile Flanagan,
Patricia Belcher, Lynn Collins, Mark Pellegrino, Tara Karsian
RunTime: 1 hr 35 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Day: 29 March 2007
"THE NUMBER 23" Soundtrack Review
Animal Control officer Walter Sparrow (Jim Carey)
has found a book he doesn’t dare put down. By reading
a mysterious novel, "The Number 23", given to him
as a birthday gift by his wife, Agatha (Virgina Masden), Walter
twists his once placid existence into an inferno of psychological
torture that could possible lead him to his death and death
of his loved ones. And all because of a number: The Number
novel is a chilling murder mystery that seems to mirror Walter's
life in dark and uncontrollable ways. The life of the book's
main character, a brooding detective named Fingerling (also
played by Jim Carey, is filled with moments that echo Walter's
own history. As the world of the book starts to come alive,
Walter becomes infected by the most frightening and evocative
part of it: Fingerlings obsession with the hidden power of
the number 23.
obsession permeates the book and begins to control Walter.
He sees the number everywhere in his own life and becomes
convinced that he is damned to commit the same horrific crime
as Fingerling - murder. Nightmarish fantasies come to haunt
Walter concerning terrible fates about his wife as well as
family friend Issac French (Danny Huston), placing him on
a desperate quest to understand the mysteries of the book.
he can unlock the power behind the number 23, he may be able
to change his future.
The last time director Joel Schumacher and funnyman
Jim Carrey worked together 10 years ago, they gave us the
disastrous Batman Forever. Call it a 10th year anniversary
or something, the duo are back to give us another, well, disaster,
that is destined to go down cinema history as one of the worst
movies ever made.
you add the number of alphabet letters in their two names
together, it would be 23.
Where did that come from? Yes, we hear you asking. But this
would be exactly the kind of “coincidences” (we’d
think most people would term it as being contrived) that is
littered throughout the 90-minute movie.
man who was Ace “Pet Detective” Ventura gets in
touch with his animal instincts again by playing an animal
control officer here. His wife (played by a vulnerably beautiful
Virginia Madsen) gives him a novel entitled “The Number
23” (where is the originality, people?) and the poor
man starts to become deranged over the book.
seriously have no idea why someone can go so crazy over a
book, and for that matter, the number 23. Maybe we would have
understood if the filmmakers put in a more little effort to
tell us why.
Fernley Phillips wrote the ridiculous screenplay that tries
to engage its audience in the theme of obsession and madness.
No matter how hard Carrey tries to convince us that the number
23 is driving him nuts, we couldn’t really care less.
doesn’t help that when the truth behind the number 23
is revealed in its last 20 minutes, most of us would be scorning
at the story’s nonsensicality.
cast does attempt to look serious in the movie, but why should
we be blamed for thinking that Carrey would break into a joke
every now and then? Sure, the guy did a decent job portraying
Andy Kaufman in the serious drama Man on the Moon (1999),
but this sudden switch to playing a madman isn’t going
to do much for his career.
rest of the supporting cast which includes the reliable Madsen,
the suspiciously sleazy Danny Huston (Birth, The Constant
Gardener) and the underused beauty Rhona Mitra (TV’s
Boston Legal and Nip/Tuck) round up the motley crew of good
actors thrown into a bad movie.
be fair, Schumacher does have an eye for style on the big
screen. With the help of cinematographer Matthew Libatique
(Inside Man, The Fountain), the movie does its best to impress
us with its unique camerawork, framing and colours. Add Mark
Stevens’ (Phone Booth, Stay Alive) edgy editing and
Harry Gregson-Williams’ (Kingdom of Heaven, Déjà
vu) suspenseful score, the movie is ultimately a letdown of
style over substance.
the movie goes mushy on us in its last 10 minutes, with Carrey’s
tiresome and droning voiceover lecturing us on the importance
of choice-making in life, it is clear that you don’t
need 23 reasons why this movie is an embarrassing mess.
movie that tries to explore obsessions, but ends up being
Review by John Li