Infinite CPE
Infinite – 2021

Director Antoine Fuqua
Screenplay Ian Shorr based on The Reincarnationist Papers by D. Eric Maikranz
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sophie Cookson, Jason Mantzoukas, Rupert Friend, Toby Jones, Dylan O’Brien, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson

Infinite is a derivative story about two camps of individuals who are reincarnated time and again throughout history, but have found a reason to fight about this. The Believers are the good guys. The bad guys, lead by someone named Bathurst, are Nihilists. You can guess the ones who are ok with perpetually being reborn and those who’d prefer to bring it all down.

Whether there is any consistency to the ages of these reincarnated souls is debatable. The first scene takes place in 1985. The reset happens for several of them at the same time. Then we’re supposed to believe that 35 years later Bathurst (played by Ejiofor, 43), Treadway (Wahlberg, 50) and Nora (Cookson, age 31) were all the same approximate age.

In 2020 Treadway doesn’t know that he’s a reincarnate. Essentially, he’s NEO and about to get discovered by the Ejiofor’s Bathurst when he is rescued by Nora. The ensuing car chase, through buildings and whatnot is not necessarily a problem. The effects are good enough for a standard action film.

The story is cobbled together with parts of other, better stories. Maybe it’s the goofy sounding narration by Wahlberg, but the Infinite is funny where it should be interesting and boring where it should have some amount of thrilling. The cast is actually pretty decent, but almost entirely wasted. It should be considered a crime, what they do with Ejiofor and Jones.

Who might enjoy this film? Anyone who’s never seen a movie before might get something out of it. Fuqua has made some pretty average slick looking thrillers in his past, even one (The Shooter) with Wahlberg. This one could have used some more coherent editing and perhaps some more exploration on how the baddies and the goodies end up looking so differently aged when they all are supposed to have been “reset” at the same time.

This film looks good, but it’s certainly less filling than one with Fuqua’s talent is capable of creating. For Wahlberg, it’s a tougher call. He’s good a pumping out product. Sometimes we get The Italian Job, other times we get Contraband. This is closer to the latter.

(** out of *****)

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