SYNOPSIS: For Evan McCauley (Mark Wahlberg), skills he has never learned and memories of places he has never visited haunt his daily life. Self-medicated and on the brink of a mental breakdown, Evan is sought by a secret group that call themselves “Infinites,” revealing to him that his memories may be real—but they are from multiple past lives. The Infinites bring Evan into their extraordinary world, where a gifted few are given the ability to be reborn with their memories and knowledge accumulated over centuries. With critical secrets buried in his past, Evan must work with the Infinites to unlock the answers in his memories in a race against time to save humanity from one of their own (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who seeks to end all life to stop what he views as the cursed, endless cycle of reincarnation.
To choose between an intellectual, practical-effects filled sci-fi movie liked Tenet or dumb loud VFX-filled sci-fi movie liked Infinite, I’m sure many will pick the latter. There’s no right or wrong in this argument, it’s a free world after all.
Disguised itself as a smart popcorn spectacle, Infinite blends the themes of reincarnation and science fiction into a giant wormhole called dumb fun. Based on a novel by D. Eric Maikranz, Infinite tells the story of the Believers and the Nihilists, both groups coming from individuals who can remember their past lives. The Believers however believes in preserving world peace while the Nihilists is bent on destroying the world using a baloney device dubbed the “egg”.
In comes a man called Evan McCauley (Mark Wahlberg) who lives with schizophrenia but in actual fact, he’s a Believer, a powerful warrior throughout his past lives (including being a Japanese swordmaker) and he is born to protect the “egg” from the movie’s main nemesis, Bathurst (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Bathurst and his henchmen believe that Evan knows where the “egg” is hidden as he is the reincarnation of Heinrich Treadway (Dylan O’Brien) the last person who took the device and died in 1985. Thus, begins a series of cat-and-mouse games between the good and evil.
Obviously, Antoine Fuqua (Shooter, The Equalizer) is trying his best to pull off an original, intriguing action piece. Too bad, the poorly-written story didn’t do any justice to him. There’s a tremendous lack of meaningful narrative and world building. Everything seems to fall nicely in place even before the audiences understand what in the world is going on. How exactly does the Believers work? Why is it run from a place liked Wakanda or from The Matrix? And where did Bathurst get all his resources? At times, it’s overly complicated but the next minute when a big bombastic action sequence is abruptly introduced, we totally forgot about everything including the part where Evan and Bathurst were supposedly to be once best friends.
No stranger to high-stakes action sequences, Fuqua fills Infinite with gallons of CGI assisted mayhem from crashing an Aston Martin through a police station, cool weaponry to Evan jumping on top of a plane to intercept Bathurst. Where is Tom Cruise when you need him? Oh right, we have Mark Wahlberg playing yet another brawny, cool character armed with a katana. There’s nothing wrong in casting Wahlberg in the lead role but when you cast someone liked Chiwetel Ejiofor as the main villain, Wahlberg seems a lot less interesting. He is just a buff empty presence onscreen. Dylan O’Brien is a better choice in this case.
Young English actress Sophie Cookson (Kingsman: The Secret Service) appears as Nora, Evan’s rescuer and sidekick which explains why Dylan O’Brien is again a better choice for the lead role. Veteran English actor Toby Jones (Captain America) has a nice shouting match with Chiwetel Ejiofor while Jason Mantzoukas (John Wick 3) plays a rather goofy doctor.
For a movie about reincarnation and saving the world, Infinite runs out of steam pretty fast. The concept is just too dopey to make much of an impact. Fortunately, the numerous ridiculous action scenes will keep you from dozing off. We thought Infinite is more than just an empty popcorn flick given the premise but nope, it’s yet another dumb loud (maybe fun to some) movie.
Review by Linus Tee