Saturday, February 24, 2007

New Movie Review: "The Number 23"

What is the draw of the number 23? It was Michael Jordan's number. It is one of the Numbers on Lost. And now it is a psychological thriller starring Jim Carrey and directed by Joel Schumacher. Yes the same Schumacher who made Batman and Robin. In past movie reviews, I have pointed out director trademarks and how they affect a movie. The notorious Schumacher touch is evident in this movie.

The plot is pretty basic as far as psychological thrillers go: Carrey starts to obsess over a book and the number 23. This obsession pushes away his wife, played by Virginia Madsen, and his son. The movie switches off between the "real world" that Carrey inhabits, and the world of the book that Carrey is picturing in his mind. Make-believe Carrey has tattoos, so you know he is hardcore.

Like all movies of this nature, there is a twist. I didn't see the twist coming, so it was somewhat surprising. But the movie suffers from how fast Carrey descends into insanity, and the convience of the number 23. The lengths the movie went to "prove" that the number is everywhere was hilarious. As was stated in the movie, if you look hard enough, you can find connections between any two things. The son also joins in on Carrey's madness, which seems more of a plot contrivance than anything else.

The movie tries to be shocking at times, but often it comes across as comedy. Perhaps Schumacher was trying to go for a B-movie thriller. If so, he succeeded. Although the scenes and the movie on a whole was corny, it somehow works to be mildly entertaining. I was rolling my eyes at a few scenes, but the last half hour was entrancing (save for the last scene). Carrey shows in this movie that he can be a middle of the road actor like a Kevin Bacon and not suck too much or excel too much. That may or may not be a good thing though. He doesn't "overact" and he plays crazy well. But this is not anything more than an average movie.

2 1/2 Color Pinks out of 5.


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