The Number 23 Review:
Honestly, at its heart this movie is a brilliant psychological horror film with an outstanding song performance by Jim Carrey. However, the film turns an idea that needs maybe two or more hours of organic development into an hour and a half film. What we basically get is a jump from one plot thread to the other without believability. One second he finds the book, the next thing he’s convinced it dictates everything.
I understand maybe being obsessed with it, but going that far in over the course of maybe five minutes isn’t organic. This is the whole film. We have great ideas and what could be fascinating moments ruined by lack of development and rushed entry.
The saving grace is Jim Carrey. His performance is as likable as always but this time we get a more tortured character. He goes down on a choppy hill of madness but along the way we get some great moments. Though bad dialogue and forced moments moved the plot forward, he carries it at the least to a mediocre level. I can’t deny that this film entertains, but as a two and a half hour film, it couldn’t have been the next Psycho.
The cast is there, the plot is very much there, but the execution is god awful. I really hope this gets remade. I know remakes are usually a lack of ideas and remaking this is at the top of no ones list, but I think there’s a lot of potential in the story that, if handled properly, could be exceptional.
Overall, it’s a great idea squandered away by a director who’s not familiar to the subject matter, but Carrey as usual gives an outstanding performance that almost saves the film. 3.2/10