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4K Ultra HD Review: Infinite

December 14, 2021

By John Corrado

★½ (out of 4)

Antoine Fuqua’s Infinite is a sci-fi action flick that imagines a world of reincarnated souls where a group of people called Infinites have the ability to remember their past lives. Within this group, there are two subgroups; the “believers,” who view their ability as a gift, and “nihilists” who see it as a curse and want the cycle to stop.

It’s a high concept premise that sounds mildly intriguing, but Fuqua’s film, a big swing and miss for the director, is a convoluted mess that squanders it with ridiculous dialogue and one-note performances, playing out like a bargain basement take on a Nolan or Wachowski film.

The film does show some early promise with a prologue set in “the past life” that finds a man (Dylan O’Brien) on a high speed car chase through Mexico City. It’s a fairly well orchestrated sequence that provides initial excitement, but it’s all downhill from here. We cut to “the present life” and start following Evan McCauley (Mark Wahlberg), a diagnosed schizophrenic with the mysterious ability to make traditional Japanese swords.

Evan is struggling to earn enough money to pay for his medication, when he gets taken by a group of Infinites who tell him that his hallucinations are not really in his head but actually flashes of memories from his past lives. They need Evan’s help, and the unique abilities he has obtained from these past lives, to stop one of the “nihilists,” Bathurst (Chiwetel Ejiofor), from acquiring an egg-shaped weapon that has the ability to unwind DNA. Bathurst intends to use it to stop his own reincarnations for good, by ending all life on Earth.

The screenplay by Ian Shorr, which is loosely based on D. Eric Maikranz’s book The Reincarnationist Papers, offers some pseudo-spiritual talk but not much else, with its premise and characters feeling underdeveloped. Instead of really grappling with its big ideas, the whole film instead seems like a pretty awkward metaphor for mental illness. We also get some needless voiceover from Wahlberg’s character that feels like it is over explaining things that we find out anyway through dialogue.

At the centre of it all is a pretty wooden performance by Wahlberg, who phones in his line deliveries and sounds disinterested in the material. Tony Mantzoukas shows up partway through and tries to breathe some life into the film as the Artisan, a possibly non-binary scientist with crazy hair, a leather apron and black nail polish. But Mantzoukas, who leans heavily into camp territory with his portrayal, feels like he fell out of an entirely different movie.

The cinematography by Mauro Fiore is generally decent, including a handful of well framed shots, and there are a couple of okay action sequences (including the aforementioned opening car chase between a Ferrari and an Aston Martin). The film also boasts pretty good sets and production design, but little else about it really works aside from these few aesthetic highlights. What we are left with is a film that fails to really do much with its brainy premise, and instead devolves into a subpar and derivative action movie marred by ham-fisted dialogue.

Bonus Features (4K Ultra HD):

The 4K disc includes a selection of four “behind the scenes” featurettes. A code for a digital copy is also included in the package, which ships with a standard slipcover.

They Call Themselves Infinites (7 minutes, 43 seconds): A general look at the making of the film, from the overall story concept, to the production design and sets that were built for it.

The Kinetic Action of Infinite (8 minutes, 56 seconds): An in-depth look at the logistics of shooting the opening car chase in Mexico City. It’s interesting to hear how they pulled it off.

Anatomy of a Scene – Police Station & Forest (12 minutes, 55 seconds): A breakdown of two key set-pieces; the chase through a police station, which was done using a real Aston Martin and breakaway walls, and a last act chase through a forest in Scotland.

Infinite Time (5 minutes, 11 seconds): Starts as a look at the film’s themes, and becomes about the visual effects in the climax, including the use of a camera spinning 360 degrees around Wahlberg.

Infinite is a Paramount Home Entertainment release. It’s 106 minutes and rated 14A.

Street Date: December 7th, 2021

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