Combustible Celluloid
With: Mark Wahlberg, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sophie Cookson, Jason Mantzoukas, Rupert Friend, Toby Jones, Dylan O'Brien, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Liz Carr, Kae Alexander
Written by: Ian Shorr, based on a story by Todd Stein, and on a novel by D. Eric Maikranz
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, some bloody images, strong language and brief drug use
Running Time: 106
Date: 06/11/2021

Infinite (2021)

1 Star (out of 4)

Suck Everlasting

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Stuck with an incomprehensible, half-baked idea and carried out with stale writing, mechanical acting, and relentless chase scenes and explosions, the sci-fi action flick Infinite is an almost total failure.

Evan Michaels (Mark Wahlberg) has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and has trouble finding a job. He gets the medications he needs by making beautiful swords and trading them with shady drug dealers. During one trade, something goes wrong, and Evan finds himself in custody, questioned by the mysterious Theodore Murray (Chiwetel Ejiofor).

Tammy McCauley (Sophie Cookson) rescues him and reveals to him that he is not schizophrenic, but is, in fact, an "infinite," or a rare being that can remember his past lives, and retain skills learned. Murray is also an infinite, but a nihilist, who intends to destroy the entire human race to end his own reincarnation cycle. Evan holds a secret that can both doom humanity and save it, but first he must remember who he is...

Directed by Antoine Fuqua, Infinite opens with expository narration, about how some infinites (the "Believers") wish to use their gifts for good, and others (the "Nihilists") want to destroy everything, and some twenty minutes later a character repeats this information, almost verbatim. But despite all of this, the movie doesn't show how reincarnation works — a character that seemingly died not long ago somehow becomes a fifty year-old Mark Wahlberg — and only vaguely manages to explain why the bad guy wants to kill everyone.

If it's nearly impossible to figure out the point of it all, then it follows that the actors have no choice but to read their poorly-written lines like robots, and for Fuqua to fill the running time with as many meaningless stunts and car crashes as possible. Sometimes those things can be fun, but only if the movie itself has a sense of fun — or a sense of its own dim-wittedness — and Infinite has neither of those things. It plays as if everyone involved were just trying to get through it with as little effort as possible.

Technical work, i.e. visual effects, sound, etc., are all fine, but perhaps this dud suggests that Fuqua ought to stick to working with Denzel Washington (Training Day, The Equalizer 1 and 2, The Magnificent Seven, etc.).

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