Overall Rating: 2.4
Director: Joel Schumacher
Gore Factor: Minimal
Rewatchability: Give it a year or two.
Watch If: You're curious about a Jim Carrey in a Noir thriller.
Not If: You actually want to be scared.
Similar To: Numbers
The Bare Bones: When a family man stumbles across a book that he believes is about his life, it plunges him into an obsessive fascination with... you guessed it, the number 23.
I like the concept at the beginning of this movie-- a man finds a random book that he believes is about his life, and it spirals. However, the directions it takes throughout the film leave the entire thing feeling... stereotypical in a less-than-stellar way.
Surprisingly, Jim Carrey did a really good job with this. I expected the tone shift to make his performance watery and non-committal, but it didn't. It was interesting to see him act fairly well in an atmosphere to which he is less accustomed.
It was almost every other person in this movie that deserved this review. Multiple performances were bland and unconvincing. and more often than not, just down right boring. The reactions, when there are any, are vague and annoying, and it makes it difficult to connect with anyone.
This is definitely a noir film. Know that. Because a significant portion of the movie is shot like a low-budget noir movie. If that's what you like, it's not half bad. But it's a very specific style, and while it's not poorly executed, it is a bit... off- putting for the parts of the film that are not done in the same style.
It definitely gets you thinking in some parts. But it's not really atmospheric so much as, "huh, I guess that's true." The tone is very scene-to-scene, and the end result is all over the place. I'm not sure whether I supposed to feel paranoid, sad, gritty, or amazed, and so it succeeds at none of those.
I had high, if misplaced, hopes for this one, and I'm sorry to say, they were wasted. It feels more like something I would watch with my grandma, the way the sudo-suspense sort just sort of waves to you as it passes by on its way to an entirely different movie. It's got a specific... flavor, and it was neither the flavor I wanted or expected. It felt almost like taking a bite of a chocolate chip cookie only to discover it was oatmeal raisin.
It does, however, succeed in one thing. The concept of the number 23 being everywhere weaves itself into your brain, and for at least a while you can't help but notice that it's everywhere. This really isn't a horror though, so much as a forgettable, weird, fever dream.