The Number 23 follows Walter (Jim Carey) as he slowly becomes obsessed with the number 23 after his wife finds a weird book in an old bookstore.
Jim Carey is rocking some serious middle-aged bangs as he opens the film as a dogcatcher (you know such a likeable job position) as he is sent after a mysterious bulldog. As he is totally not phased by the fact the dog manages to vanish…right in front of him…he gives up the hunt and goes to meet his wife to celebrate his birthday party. Right from the start, he is established a generally unlikable character even if they push the empathy with a nice relationship with his son and wife. He’s the human equivalent of a saltine cracker.
Then there’s the narration issue. Over half of this movie is comprised of Jim Carey wandering around reading the book aloud through narration and fantasizing about it. The sheer amount of voiceover is distracting. Narration is such a lazy way out of interesting story telling, and no one wants to be read a separate book inside a movie where Jim Carey plays a gritty detective instead of his actual annoying character. It just makes two annoying characters for the price of one.
As Walter escapes farther and farther into the book (written by Topsy Kretts. You know Top Secrets. So subtle) he begins to identify with the character and obsessively begins to take on the same obsession with the number 23. He begins to find himself surrounded by the number and also stalked by the dog that bit him from the beginning of the film. His wife, Agatha, and son (played by Logan Lerman before he got hot) struggle to understand his obsession as he becomes convinced the character in the book shares too many similarities to be a coincidence.
Let me tell you, this movie is one giant plot hole. Literally nothing makes sense. It has an interesting idea, and a pretty cool opening intro, and then it loses all sense of what it’s trying to accomplish. It could have been an interesting mystery involving paranoia and how an ideology can infect seemingly normal people. But trust Joel Schumacher to shit on a good idea. Sorry I don’t think I’ll ever get past what he did to Batman. This movie is just a waste of time. It’s not offensively bad, even if it makes no sense at all, it’s just a really long string of nothing. It’s tediously narrated, wastes the potential for Jim Carey to do anything by giving him the most boring character ever, and presents an interesting plot idea and goes no where with it. I dare you to try and explain away some of the more actually impossible plot points it tries to pretend aren’t ridiculous. It’s not scary at all, so if you’re looking for the blandest horror option, this one reads more like a bad thriller than a horror flick. I wouldn’t watch it again, but its harmless and the dog (that he is constantly trying to freaking kill) is cute so at least it has one redeeming quality. Ned the dog may be one of the very few Schumacher casting decisions that make sense. If you don’t believe me he also casted Schwarzenegger as Dr. Freeze, Gerard Butler as the Phantom of the Opera, and an over thirty year old Diana Ross as the teen Dorothy in the Wiz. So fight me.
Amy’s Recommendation: 2/10