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The Number 23

A zero
By PEG ALOI  |  February 28, 2007
2.0 2.0 Stars

If only Joel Schumacher had remade Hans-Christian Schmid’s excellent 1998 German film 23, a fact-based thriller about computer hackers obsessed with conspiracy theory and Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus Trilogy (which explains the so-called “23 Enigma” in detail). But no. Instead, assisted by newbie screenwriter Fernley Phillips, Schumacher makes a flashy, predictable, incomprehensible piece of dreck that can’t even be saved by its fine actors. Jim Carrey is Walter Sparrow, an animal-control officer happily married to baker Agatha (Virginia Madsen). He’s late to meet her one night, and she randomly selects a tome called The Number 23 in a used bookstore and insists he read it. Soon he’s convinced that the odd novel is about him and that its numerological portents are everywhere. Erotic noir flashback sequences ensue, and it all feels a bit like Mike Figgis’s Liebestraum with tribal tattoos. There is something to this 23 stuff, and a film about apophenia (obsession with random connections) would be fascinating. But no.
  Topics: Reviews , Hans-Christian Schmid , Joel Schumacher , Virginia Madsen ,  More more >
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