An update of the 1977 comedy, Dick and Jane are living the good life. That is until Dick (Jim Carrey) loses his job shortly after getting a promotion that convinced his wife Jane (Téa Leoni) to quit her job. The money is gone, and the house ends up in foreclosure. Dick decides to turn to a hilarious life of crime to pay the bills with his lovely wife by his side. Then together they decide it's ... See full summary »
On his birthday, Walter Sparrow, an amiable dog-catcher, takes a call that leaves him dog bit and late to pick up his wife. She's browsed in a bookstore, finding a blood-red-covered novel, a murder mystery with numerology that loops constantly around the number 23. The story captivates Walter: he dreams it, he notices aspects of his life that can be rendered by "23," he searches for the author, he stays in the hotel (in room 23) where events in the novel took place, and he begins to believe it was no novel. His wife and son try to help him, sometimes in sympathy, sometimes to protect him. Slowly, with danger to himself and to his family, he closes in on the truth. Written by
Other instances of the number 23 connected (sometimes very tenuously) with the movie:
The last time Jim Carrey and Joel Schumacher worked together was in "Batman Forever." In that film, Carrey's character (the Riddler) also showed an obsession for numbers, which he used to represent letters of the alphabet in his riddles. The numbers were 1, 8, and 5. Batman figured out that 1 and 8 were meant to be 18. 18 + 5 = 23.
The number 23 is a W, and in "Batman Forever" there is a scene of Carrey underneath a W (the gate outside Wayne Manor).
The address of the bookstore is 599. 5+9+9=23.
The number of letters in "Animal Control Department".
The apartment number across from the suicide blonde's apartment (959).
The dog in the movie is named NED. N is the 14th letter of the alphabet; E is the fifth; and D is the fourth. 14 + 5 + 4 = 23.
The numbers on Walter's car add up to 23 (906 8TC, 9+0+6+8=23, 20(T)+3(C)=23) .
The numbers on Issac's car is 023 5HJ, H is the eight letter in the alphabet and J is the tenth, 5 + 8(H) + 10(J) = 23.
The store front numbers that Fingerling is standing in front of while watching Fabrizia & Phoenix add to 23 (12, and 110).
The film was released in the US on February 23, 2007.
The number of Walter Sparrow's footlocker 85307 = 23 (8+5+3+7).
The PO Box that Carrey and his family mail the boxes to is "P.O.Box 977". 9+7+7=23.
There has been a great deal of critical scorn directed at 'The Number 23', which almost made me rethink my decision to see it, despite finding the concept very enticing, being impressed by the promotional materials, and generally liking Joel Schumacher as a director (yes, Batman and Robin was awful, but he's directing some very good films like The Client, Phone Booth and The Lost Boys) And after seeing the finished product, I find myself asking why the knives are out for the film. Now, I'm not saying this is a brilliant film, because it isn't. It's rather easy to guess the plot twists, the script does tend to patronise the viewer and the final segment of the film casually abandons the central premise in favour of a more generic 'mystery' storyline. But I found quite a few things to like about the movie, such as strong performances from Jim Carrey and Virginia Madsen, very stylish direction and (for most of the movie)a genuine undercurrent of tension as the events unfold. It's not going to be remembered as a highlight on the careers of anyone involved, but if you enjoyed conspiracy theory novels such as The Da Vinci Code or shows like the X-Files, you are more likely to see past the critics and enjoy this film.
Final Score 6 (which is 2x3)/10
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