Virginia Madsen is nondescript as Sparrow’s wife, and it is only their son (Logan Lerman) that comes across as a credible human being. The rest of the cast might as well be cardboard cut-outs, as character development is not a strength of director Joel Schumacher, the luminary who brought us Batman and Robin and Batman Forever.
With a tedious and derivative storyline, and uninspired acting, what’s left to enjoy about The Number 23? Not the visuals, which are an artless mix of what looks like overproduced adverts in some places, and out-takes from Se7en in others. And not the score, a jarring mix of modern rock that detracts from the atmosphere.
On the whole it feels like a film made by marketers, without any care or attention to detail. Little hints and clues along the way are barely related to the story, and only serve to pad out the running time with numerous flashbacks. Even the pacing is slow, and any anticipation will probably be replaced by boredom 45 minutes in.
While not utterly horrendous, The Number 23 commits the cardinal sin of any movie by being boring. If you are interested in seeing any of the good thrillers that The Number 23 rips off, watch Pi, Memento, Se7en, The Shining, or Angel Heart.
- Ivan Sadler
This tedious conspiracy movie would have been much, much better if it were only 23 minutes long.
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