The Number 23
After being given the eponymous book as a gift, an animal control officer begins to find that his own soon-to-be unraveling life is paralleling that of the protagonist of the book. As with his literary doppelganger, he becomes obsessed with the number 23, and as he does the math, he realizes that fate is about to lay a nasty little number on him. As handled by beat-on-the-pots-and-pans director Joel Schumacher, this attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation of Jim Carrey’s career is a flashy but ultimately muddled mess all the way through to the hackneyed twist (I forget how many times I’ve seen it before), interspersed with rough trade Sin City-wannabe vignettes from the book itself. Carrey isn’t all that engaging as a leading man in a thriller, although he isn’t helped any by the absurd mechanizations of the mouth-breather script. It’s Numerology for Dummies, written by dummies.