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Number 23 [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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Jim Carrey as a schizophrenic murderer isn't convincing, in this melodramatic film about a man obsessed by the Number 23. Joel Schumacher (Batman Forever, St. Elmo's Fire) has unintentionally managed to make a comedy of horrors that really is quite humorous in parts. Walter Sparrow (Carrey) becomes engrossed in a homespun novel about Detective Fingerling, whose life degrades into mayhem because of his obsession with 23's esoteric numerical puzzles. Sparrow's preoccupation with the book follows his botched attempt to catch a nasty dog that bites him, leading one to believe that Sparrow's contraction of rabies might be the cause for his mental degradation. As the story progresses, Sparrow retreats further into Fingerling's world, rife with suicidal sexpots and hardboiled detective sleuthing. His wife, Agatha (Virginia Madsen), also plays Fingerling's girlfriend, sex-crazed Fabrizia, who taunts Fingerling until he stabs her. Back in reality, Walter aims to solve the unresolved crimes in the book, taking it as a murderer's diary rather than as an imagined work. The story is half-baked, though Carrey's portrayal of a mentally disturbed person is what makes The Number 23 comedic. Long, contemplative stares, and over-dramatized acting renders Sparrow a clichéd character, rather than one odd enough to engage viewers. For a better version of almost the exact plot but with a terrorist's twist, see Thr3e instead. --Trinie Dalton --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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I found the beginning all a bit weird and wondered where this film was going but as I watched more, I was definitely drawn in and glued to my tv for the rest of the movie. I don't normally like Jim Carey but I thought he was excellent in this film. There are some good twists and turns along the way and it all comes together at the end. I really enjoyed watching this and it was great to find something that bit different to all the same old films out there! I would recommend it.
It's a film with the odd twist and turn, but nothing too surprising. It hinges on Carrey, and he turns in a pretty good performance. I like Carrey best when he is playing it straight, and this blend of everyman and nutcase suits him to a tee. He is the best thing about the film by a mile. The plot has a few holes in it, and those with overly logical minds will find fault with a few things, such as the obsession with 23. Why not continue to add the digits to get 5, or multiply them to get 6, thus reducing it to a single digit and reaching the logical conclusion of the number game? It makes no sense to just stop at 23, but then I suppose that sort of irrationality by definition is nonsensical.
It's a decent and watchable thriller worth 4 stars right up to the end, where it just falls apart a bit. The director takes too long over it, tacking on scene after scene to tidy everything up after the main revelation. This drags the film past its natural life. I felt that just cutting it after the main revelation and leaving a few questions unanswered and ambiguous would have made it a much stronger film. As it is, the last 10 minutes really drag. SO another star lost for that, making it 3 in total. Actually I was torn between 2-3 stars...
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