Feeling like it came straight off the generic action-movie conveyor belt, Infinite strands a talented ensemble amongst stilted dialogue and CGI-heavy slow motion. I thought this type of movie was all but dead, as box office numbers dwindled and audiences craved more visceral, bone-crunching action. If anything, it feels like Infinite comes straight from a bygone era . Based on the book by D. Eric Maikranz, this is a movie more interested in spectacle than story.
“Infinites” are a secret group comprised of people who have perfect memories of their past lives. Most Infinites are blessed with “full recall.” Through reincarnation, Infinites retain their knowledge, locking it away until the host can embrace this aspect. With a history of schizophrenic violence (and diagnosed at only 14 years old), Evan (Mark Wahlberg) has been haunted by strange hallucinations and flashes of places he’s never been. He can’t get a job, but he can make a samurai sword! When the Infinites approach him to recruit him for their little organization, Evan begins to realize that he’s not crazy, he’s just recalling past lives. One of the Infinites (Chiwetel Ejiofor) wants to end their cycle of rebirth, and put a stop to it forever. Now, Evan’s memories are the key to stopping him and saving—wait for it—humanity as we know it.
It starts off with an unrealistic leap off a car onto a crane, and I knew from this introductory sequence that Infinite might fall a little short of expectations. It never manages to overcome the ridiculousness inherent in the beginning. An airborne finale is silly and excessive, clearly inspired by movies like Charlie’s Angels and Kingsman. A constant voiceover from Wahlberg is distant and dull—it rarely adds anything to the larger whole. The dialogue is equally cheesy, with gems like “nobody’s got time for destiny”, and mumbo jumbo about humans not living up to their potential.
Infinite is basically 2020’s The Old Guard meets Cloud Atlas, with a plot structure very similar to the Vin Diesel vehicle, Bloodshot. It’s trying to be The Matrix with its convoluted narrative and excessive slow-motion. We have seen everything here before. Mark Wahlberg does what he can—he has always been a personal favorite actor for me since 1997’s Boogie Nights. This just doesn’t give him anything to do. I love Dylan O’Brien, and he is wasted as well, though he does at least have stakes to his segments. As an original movie for Paramount+, I expected significantly better based on the pedigree of the talent involved. Infinite will appeal to fans of Wahlberg and nonsensical action, while everyone else needn’t bother.
Infinite premieres exclusively on Paramount+ on Thursday, June 10th.