Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Stupid confusing mess
For the most part, Jim Carrey is actually a very talented actor. When he parts from his usual routine of making his audience laugh, he entertains us with a more dramatic role every so often. To be honest, since I have began this blog, it is those roles that I have rated the highest, though I do like some of his funny movies just as much. The score is just a mixture of my entertainment level as well as how well everything else was done, and comedies can only do so much. It’s a miracle when a comedy has all of the elements in place. Anyway, one of Carrey’s more dramatic roles was Walter Sparrow in “The Number 23“, a psychological thriller about…a number. That’s right folks, get ready, because Jim Carrey is in trouble.
So the story revolves around Walter Sparrow (Carrey), a local dog catcher. He has a wife (Virginia Madsen) and son (Logan Lerman). One day, his wife picks out a book for him at the book store entitled…”The Number 23″. Now, once Sparrow begins reading the book, it is as if he is reading a book all about himself hidden in a murder mystery. It then begins to talk about a cursed number, which is 23, which this character in the book that he fixates on begins getting obsessed with. Sparrow also gets obsessed with the number and he begins getting paranoid. Everything added up to the number 23. To be fair, really paranoid people would believe some of this, it doesn’t mention it in the movie (I don’t think), but 9/11/2001 adds up to 23 too. 9 plus 11 is 20 plus 2 plus 1 is 23. So there is a lot of these equations spoken about in the movie. Prepare to get confused.
Now, mathematicians and math flunkies, get out a deck of cards, we are going to play a game. I want you to shuffle the deck, and lay one card down. Ace equals 1, 2 equals 2 and the like. All face cards equal ten. You ready? Good. I will take out a deck and give you the real example I come up with. So the first card I put down was a 5. Now, pick the next four cards in the deck. Mine are a King, a 9, another Ace, and a 4. The object of this game is to use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division as needed with each of these cards, and each number can only be used once, to get the answer of the first card, so I need to get to a 5. So, 9 plus 1 is 10, 10 divided by the king (10) is 1, 1 plus 4 is 5. The point I just made is, any random amount of numbers can be made to look like another number. Not just 23, but anything. It’s actually a fun and addicting game, but that’s beside the point.
If you know math, you know the story sucks, it’s stupid. If you know that trick I just showed you, you will realize that this film is extremely laughable. Even if 23 was this crazy number that everything added up to, who cares? It’s cursed? It’s just a number, and no one will believe that when they watch the movie. THAT BEING SAID. I did like one teensy little thing about the movie. The book in general. I loved the fact that he was reading a book that eerily reminded him of his own life, it was kind of like “The Truman Show” in that regard (which I loved). Once 23 is introduced, that good…possibility of a story…..was diminished almost completely.
I don’t say this often, actually never, because I have never honestly thought so, but Jim Carrey was very wrong for this role. He didn’t have chemistry with anyone, he didn’t look comfortable playing in a lot of the scenes, and to be honest it almost felt like he was trying to force Jim Carrey humor in the beginning to pull in an audience. Instead, I felt the role would be more appropriate for someone like…Colin Farrell, but I am sure Colin is a smart enough man not to pick a really stupid movie.
The movie is a psychological thriller, but it doesn’t get in your head. It’s Jim Carrey folks, he LOOKS too funny to play a horror role. The scariest and most troubled role he has played was The Riddler from “Batman Forever” and Chip Douglas from “The Cable Guy“…maybe even his role as Hank in “Me, Myself & Irene“. Those roles were worthy of Carrey, and he played them magnificently. I just have to ask myself…what the crap is this?
It’s not good. I can say it tries, but it just ends up trying too hard. I’m a Jim Carrey fanatic, and this is just not a movie to add to your collection.