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‘Infinite’ Movie Review: A High-Octane Sci-Fi Thriller

Antoine Fuqua reteams with his “Shooter” star for a high-concept action bonanza with a decidedly ‘been there, done that’ feel

Ritika Kispotta - Fri, 11 Jun 2021 14:41:33 +0100 266 Views
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“Infinite,” Ian Shorr and Todd Stein’s adaptation of D. Eric Maikranz’s novel The Reincarnationist Papers, combines elements of “The Old Guard” and “The Matrix,” with a splash of “The Fifth Element.” Unfortunately, the product falls far short of the lofty works from which it draws. Rather than crafting a high-concept science-fiction marvel, Fuqua’s “Infinite” relies on shoddy VFX and ropey world-building for the worst film of his career.

From the outset, the filmmaker tries to paint a wide canvas but fails to fashion a detailed visual language. In Mexico City, set during “the last life,” for instance, three infinities are involved in an elaborate car chase. As they wisp and wind down wide, empty streets, in a scene barely stitched together for semi-coherent action, nothing in the costumes, hairstyles, or architecture clues us into what decade we’re inhabiting. Fast-forward to the present “in this life” in New York City and a stream of compositions—a slow-motion bustling Manhattan street bathed in orange sunlight, and cranes reflecting off an office window—read like stock images.

Reincarnation is a fascinating topic, and as the basis for a secret organization in a sci-fi movie, it's a pretty compelling one. Viewers are treated to quick flashes of Evan's past lives, and editor Conrad Buff IV does an excellent job cutting between those past glimpses and the present day, lending a genuinely disorienting feel to Evan's journey. However, Infinite isn't much interested in Evan's past beyond his last life, Treadway. It's a shame that screenwriter Ian Shorr (building on a story by Todd Stein) opts to avoid giving more weight to past lives, particularly since several characters are hinted at having deep histories. This feels especially true when it comes to Evan and Bathurst, two practically immortal men with vastly different viewpoints.

As a result, Infinite goes without some emotional heft. As an action flick, it succeeds. Fuqua certainly knows how to stage engaging set pieces, whether it's a car chase that starts inside of a police station or one hero's stand against an opposing strike team that outnumbers him. Infinite is an entertaining ride, but a lack of depth with the characters and the mythology keeps the audience from getting too invested in the heroes' task. Though the fate of the entire world is at stake, there's a strange lack of urgency in the proceedings. The action is thrilling, but not quite in the sense that one is worried about whether Evan and his allies will be able to keep the Egg out of Bathurst's hands. Infinite instead feels like Fuqua couldn't dig into the material beyond its potential as an action film. Of course, that's not a bad thing if one wants an entertaining sci-fi thrill ride. But if one wants to delve deeper into the concept presented, Infinite comes up short.

Final Score – [6.8/10]
Reviewed by – Ritika Kispotta
Follow her @KispottaRitika on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KispottaRitika)

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