AndyFerguson's Rating of The Number 23

Andy's Review of The Number 23

10 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
The Number 23

The Number 23(2007)

[center][font=Garamond][size=6]THE NUMBER 23[/size][/font][/center]
[center]director: Joel Shumacher[/center]
[center]R, 98 minutes, New Line[/center]

[center]I am finally writing about Joel Shumacher's [i]The Number 23[/i], and nearly two months after I watched it. The best way I can describe its effect on me is that I remember everything about the film, it's just that nothing sticks out in my mind and stays with me. There was certainly nothing about it that was as awful as most of the reviews released when the film came out, but it ultimately just falls short of being an altogether effective thriller. That's another thing - the movie is simply a psychological thriller, and not a horror film, as the advertisements clearly were trying to state. I would call the movie disappointing had it not exceeded my epxectations, because I thought it would be completely laughable with its bogus premise. [/center]
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[center]Jim Carrey continues to explore new acting challenges here as Walter Sparrow, a normal man that catches animals for a living and leads a life that is bordering on dull, even if he's happily married and has a teenage son. His days get considerably more eventful when his wife gives him a book that she thinks he would be into, called [i]The Number 23[/i], all about how a man, Detective Fingerling, is constantly drawn back the number and links it with anything and everything in his life. Of course, Sparrow begins to see these connections in his own life, and as the book goes on, becomes more and more enthralled and himself obsessed, and becomes convinced that he [i]is [/i]the character of Fingerling in the book, and must find the author before he, and possibly his family, are doomed. Yes, the whole idea is insane and implausible to deluxe proportions, but don't we need these kind of things in cinema every once in a while? After all, why are there are movies if we cannot imagine? Still, that doesn't mean the film has an excuse for doing some of the dumb things it does. Carrey and Virginia Madsen are very good here and drive forward, even through the muddy waters of the screenplay, and make the movie worth watching all the way through. [/center]
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[center]Joel Schumacher is a director that just a few years ago I had no interest in. I had given him many chances in the past, with films like [i]The Lost Boys [/i](which I sadly might be the only person that didn't like), [i]Flatliners[/i], [i]Dying Young[/i], [i]8MM[/i], and "those" two [i]Batman [/i]films. Then, just about the time [i]Phone Booth [/i]came to theaters I dove back into his filmography and have been a fan ever since. I have came to my senses when it comes to Schumacher, and fully after discovering the likes of [i]Tigerland[/i], [i]Veronica Guerin[/i], and the aformentioned [i]Photo Booth[/i]. Adding those to the films that I've liked of his in the past, namely [i]Falling Down [/i]and [i]A Time To Kill[/i], it equals out to just as many recommendable films as so-so ones. [i]The Number 23 [/i]is a film that stands more toward decent than bad in his filmography, and definitely holds its own visual style and is impressively directed by the filmmaker. [/center]