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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Thriller Movie “”The Number 23″” is Anything but Thrilling”

    Jim Carrey’s not a spring pup anymore. He realized that at some point, he would have to make the jump away from sophomoric humor flicks like “”Ace Ventura”” and “”The Mask.”” Sadly, this has meant acting turns in movies like the thriller “”The Number 23.””

    Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) seems like an average guy who’s just having a really bad day. He gets bitten by a vicious dog while doing his job as an animal control officer. Cleaning up the bite daelays him from meeting up with his wife (Virginia Madsen). While she’s waiting, she peruses through a faded old book at a small bookstore. She decides to take the book home for her husband for his birthday.

    The book, The Number 23, slowly sucks Sparrow in. It’s the story of a detective who goes by the name “”Fingerling.”” Fingerling meets a suicidal young blonde who’s being ripped apart by her obsession with the number 23. Once she dies, the curse of the number 23 spreads to Fingerling. Everything bad is apparently linked to the number. Caesar was stabbed 23 times, Al Capone’s prison number was 23; the list goes on. Sparrow somehow starts to see links between the life of the creepy Fingerling and his own life.

    The book slowly eats away at Sparrow: he becomes obsessed with reading it, until he comes to the end. Fingerling kills his girlfriend because he’s become mentally unstable and the book ends at Chapter 22, leaving Chapter 23 still to be written. Sparrow becomes convinced that Fingerling is still out there and needs to be caught. Catching Fingerling will also allow him to put closure on his own murderous thoughts.

    What’s never quite explained though is what is so scary about the number 23. Yes, bad things seem to happen in relation to the number 23. However, I’m sure that if I added up all the digits in my phone number, divided by 6, added 35, and subtracted the letter F, I could get 23. Does that mean anything? No. It seems so confusing how this number could eat apart both Fingerling and Carrey to the point of wanting to kill someone. This mindset never gets properly explained.

    The film’s main problem is that the director doesn’t know how to properly utilize Carrey. It’s not that Carrey can’t do serious or dramatic roles. After all, he excelled in “”Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”” and “”The Truman Show.””

    But here, he’s basically used as a blank vehicle to carry the plot. The only time when he’s actually compelling to watch is when they occasionally allow him to snap and go crazy. His eyes are hypnotic. However, watching him frantically scribble number combinations of 23 all over the walls while he tries to look jumpy gets old real fast.

    If you really want to see Carrey in a thriller, rent “”Batman Forever.”” Carrey in that tight green spandex as “”The Riddler”” is scarier than anything you’ll see in this movie.

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