Little behind the scenes info here, I normally only watch films once before reviewing them. Streamed, in cinema, copy I have on DVD, one viewing and then start work on the review. Why? Well, a few reasons. The main reason being time, I do not get paid to do this and don’t have extra time for multiple viewings. The second reason being cost, this is especially true with films I see in a cinema (you know, that thing I haven’t been inside of for 7 weeks because my state decided to be run by idiots who can’t seem to get other idiots to stay inside their idiot homes so we can stop the spread of a deadly plague!).
In general I just don’t feel the need to, one viewing tends to give me a pretty solid opinion and when my opinions change it isn’t due to subsequent viewings but just due to having more time to think about the film… this is to say that I had to watch Infinite twice, not due to lack of understanding but because it actually bored me to sleep on the first go round and almost took me out on the second viewing.
Infinite supposes a world where certain people, about 500 total, have the ability to recall every detail of all their past lives. These people are known as Infinites and they are basically superhuman and one of them, Bathurst (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is certifiably crazy after living for thousands of years in various bodies and so, like all super bad guys, he wants to kill every human being on the planet because if he does that then he won’t be able to reincarnate into another body and therefore can finally rest.
The only hope of stopping him comes in the form of Evan McCauley (Mark Wahlberg), a man who believed himself to be schizophrenic for his entire life but was actually just living with the sounds of all his past lives in his head. A team of other infinites have to get Evan to remember his most recent past life (back when he looked like Dylan O’Brian) because during that past life, Evan (who is also sometimes called Treadway) hid the special science egg that Bathurst was going to use to destroy humanity… I guess he was going to try the special evil science egg first and if that didn’t work, time to try the special evil science chicken.
So, the plot is convoluted and hard to explain which makes for a kind of difficult follow at times. Infinite clearly wants to be considered an intelligent Sci Fi film in the same vein as The Matrix or Blade Runner… it does this by badly copying a ton of the visual flair from The Matrix and just taking the awful uninterested voice over from Blade Runner, which makes for a combo that just reminds the viewer that there’s at least 2 better Sci Fi films that they could be watching instead of this boring ripoff.
The funny thing about the visuals trying to look like The Matrix is that The Matrix was made over 20 years ago and looks much better than this film does. There are some effects that work, but a lot of the compositing looks absolutely amateur and the CGI people being thrown around would’ve looked bad in the early 2000s… and remember that Infinite went up on Paramount+, one of the biggest studios in history who should have higher standards than this, though I guess if they actually lived to those higher standards then this film would’ve probably made it to cinemas and I might’ve been able to justify avoiding it.
The performances of Infinite are nothing much to write home about either. Mark Wahlberg is a slab of beef that talks (and was apparently a replacement for Chris Evans… talk about a downgrade), most of the other cast is so forgettable I don’t even want to bother naming them, Chiwetel Ejiofor is certainly trying to make something out of what he’s been given and maybe comes closest to being interesting… but he’s been given nothing to work with so he can only do so much. Even Dylan O’Brian, in his glorified cameo appearance, really is just there to be a face the tweens might actually recognise and to do a stunt that was so outlandishly dumb I said “Oh fuck off” out loud because suspension of disbelief can only go so far.
Every element of Infinite just doesn’t work, it tries to be smarter than it is and can’t even produce an action scene that’s worth a damn. It’s just not that interesting, a 90 minute exercise in copying better films badly that wears out its welcome by the 20 minute mark and has the unearned confidence required to keep on going to hit feature length despite no one really needing it to. I can’t even think of a single scene that I’d want to compliment in a thinly disguised attempt at fairness, it’s just not worth it when so many better films exist on the same streaming service this one is exclusive to.
Here’s how I can best explain how bad Infinite is: the entire plot revolves around a bunch of people chasing after a magical egg. That plot can be found in exactly one other movie, that movie being Barney’s Great Adventure, the 1998 cinematic abomination starring Barney the Dinosaur… and gun to my head, I’d probably prefer to watch Barney’s Great Adventure again because at least I would have some kind of visceral reaction to that, even if it is just shuddering in horror watching Barney scat sing along to If All The Raindrops. That seems preferable to the vast amounts of nothing I felt while sitting through Infinite, a title that aptly describes how long the damn thing feels.