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Review: The Number 23

The Number 23
02.23.2007
7 10

Walter Sparrow, an average mild mannered dog catcher, receives a book called "The Number 23" as a birthday gift from his wife. The book is about a thrilling murder mystery, but as he reads the book, he obsesses about how the book seems to reflect his own life in a very dark and creepy way. The number 23, as you have never seen it before, ensues.

This was a highly stylized dark thriller which I enjoyed very much! It had a cool premise and I totally dug the complexity of its lead character. It reminded me of a much darker version of STRANGER THAN FICTION mixed with A BEAUTIFUL MIND.

I think if Jim Carrey was a little more serious in interviews he might be taken more serious about his acting because I think he's one of our greats! He's always doing something different with the roles he takes and he's nailing the character every time! I liked him in this role as he had a duality that was intriguing to watch as he plays paranoid perfectly. But his detective character took a little time getting used to, as he had this look where it felt like he was going to crack a joke every line. He didn't...and the character eventually grew on me. I don't think I've ever seen Carrey play a character this dark before, but he made it work and should do it more often!

Virginia Madsen play Carrey's supportive and attractive wife. I seem to see a pattern developing with the roles she's playing lately; FIREWALL, THE ASTRONAUT FARMER and now this. Don't get me wrong, she still did a great job, but she could have easily interchanged the scripts of those films, in terms of her character, and I don't think anybody would have noticed. The difference in this film was that at least when she was playing the character from the book that Carrey was reading, she portrayed this darker person which I didn't expect to see. Her chemistry with both characters meshed well with Carrey's characters. It was fun to see the mirrored realities of their relationship going from darkness to light.

I remember back in the day when a little film called THE LOST BOYS came out. It was awesome, mostly thanks to director Joel Schumacher...but then, of course, came BATMAN AND ROBIN, which was totally unforgivable! Schumacher, however, has redeemed himself and has evolved into a much better artist behind the camera. I know this may seem like a bold statement, but I feel like he's redefined "film noir" with this picture. I think I'm going to call it "film couleur". I'm serious! Visually, he took a lot chances with the play on colors to define certain scenes and it worked beautifully. The mood and the pacing were both dead-on and he was able to create this sense of uneasiness throughout the entire movie.

That said, the middle section of the film was just a bit long, maybe if they cut 2-3 scenes...hey, check that out...23! I never quite got the significance of the number 23. I understood that the concept is supposed to consume a person, but I just didn't see the connection most of the time. Also, I hate math.

A great murder mystery that's visually captivating and enjoyable. Don't try to keep up with all the counting of letters and multiplication and divisions of words and dates, it will annoy you. Take their word for it and you'll surely enjoy it more. Wait a second...JoBlo has five letters...2 and 3...23! Nevermind...

Alpha Dog (4/10) Blood & Chocolate (4/10) Breach (5/10) Catch and Release (5/10) Deja Vu (6/10) Eragon (4/10) Factory Girl (7/10) Grudge 2 (5/10) Harsh Times (7/10) Letters From Iwo Jima (7/10) Music and Lyrics (6/10) Norbit (6/10) The Departed (9/10) The Good German (7/10) The Good Shepherd (7/10) The Prestige (8/10) The Pursuit of Happyness (6/10)

-- by Tim Goernert

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Source: JoBlo.com

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