The Number 23 DVD Review
by Kam Williams
DVD Features Jim Carrey in Forgettable Drama
Jim Carrey is a comedic genius whose performances in dramas, regrettably, have ranged from the mediocre to the flat-out unwatchable. Sadly, The Number 23 is no exception in this regard. This sophomoric psychological thriller might not be the best movie Jim Carrey ever made, but it certainly is his worst. It's a cryptic, coincidence-driven picture, revolving around the number "23" and Biblical scriptures from the Book of Numbers, specifically Chapter 32, Verse 23 which reads in its relevant part: "Be sure your sin will find you out."
After the opening credits roll, we find small town dogcatcher Walter Sparrow (Carrey) trying to get a harness around the neck of a hound named Ned. Notice that the letters contained in "Ned" add up to 23, because N is the 14th letter of the alphabet, E is the 5th and D the 4th. 14+5+4 = 23. This is the first of countless allusions the movie makes to the supposedly mystical number for audience members inclined to waste their time counting possible clues to see if they add up 23.
The plot thickens further when Walter's wife, Agatha (Virginia Madsen), buys him a used book for his birthday entitled, what else, "The Number 23." A hint that this tome with a blood-red cover is no ordinary novel is that it was written by Topsy Kretts, a homonym for Top Secrets, get it? These sort of infantile insinuations permeate the production for the duration of this insulting endurance test.
Worse, the infernal references to 23 turn out to be a red-herring, since the solution to the mystery really doesn't have anything to do with Numerology after-all. So, there's no reason to play "Spot the 23s" for an hour and a half. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 23 times, shame on me.
Poor (.5 star)
Rated R for sex, expletives, violence, and disturbing images.
Running time: 95 minutes
Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Director's commentary, deleted scenes, three documentaries, "The Making of" and "Behind the Scenes" featurettes, and more.
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