Jim Carrey is usually good at playing serious roles. Anyone who has seen him in Man on the Moon, The Truman Show, and The Dead Pool can tell you that. He’s not particularly bad in this flick but the movie itself is one big undeniable shitfest.
The Number 23 casts him in the role of a paranoid man who reads an old book that has eerie parallels to his own life. Slowly but surely he becomes obsessed with the number 23 and quickly starts losing his marbles. This leads up to one of the lamest “twist” endings since the last Shyamalan movie.
Director Joel Schumacher and Carrey previously collaborated on Batman Forever together. They should’ve left well enough alone. Carrey does what he can with the woefully weak material. The scenes in which he plays the fictitious detective in the book are really goofy and he looks painfully ill at ease. The “real” sequences of the movie basically just involve Carrey doing a bunch of math so that the numbers in names, dates, etc. total 23. This isn’t the most cinematic of activities to be sure.
All of this may have been OK as a half hour Twilight Zone episode. At almost 100 minutes it becomes almost unbearable. I hope they make a porno parody called The Number 69. That would be awesome.
(Whoa, wait a second… 69 divided by 3 is… 23! How eerie is that shit?)