When Hollywood isn’t rebooting or remaking your favorite movies or television shows from 30 years ago, their idea for a quick cash grab is turning a popular book into a movie.
The idea behind the film “Infinite” originates from D. Eric Maikranz’s 2009 novel “The Reincarnationist Papers,” whose premise involved a world featuring heroes who live for centuries through reincarnation.
Paramount Pictures had the idea of producing a film that they described as “Wanted” meets “The Matrix.” While the idea of visual effects that could be pulled off with a mid-range budget will excite some moviegoers, others could easily be confused on what exactly such a hybrid would look like.
The worst thing you can do with a new property is create a convoluted story that tests the attention span of the average moviegoer. Paramount thought they could solve this issue by bringing in director Antoine Fuqua to control the medium, but as the release date got closer, the studio’s faith in the film diminished. So much so, the studio took everyone — including the director and the lead actor — by surprise by opting to release the film on Paramount Plus rather than in reopening theaters.
Unfortunately for moviegoers, it only takes them roughly 30 minutes to understand why “Infinite” wasn’t viewed as worthy of theaters.
The worst thing for an action movie to be is boring, and “Infinite” suffers from a bloated plot that never finds its footing. The premise of a world where a select few never die but are instead reborn is interesting enough, but the problem comes in the way the film goes about explaining how all of these plots interact.
Instead, “Infinite” opts to dive into word-salad expositions to make sense of what is happening; however, the crazy explosions and reality-bending special effects turn out to be just one big distraction from the lack of substance and overall excitement in the story.
Wahlberg is a polarizing actor, you either hate him or not, but as the lead, he doesn’t gel with the nature of the story by playing the straight man to the craziness of the world. You never buy him in the role of a fish-out-of-water who’s necessary to make this mythical world work. When it comes to the rest of the supporting cast, no one but Ejiofor brings a performance worth remembering.
“Infinite” probably looked like a good movie on paper, but the execution dooms this film to be a one-off failure only fit for a streaming service. If the bar for this film was “Wanted-meets-The Matrix,” despite having some impressive set design, “Infinite” fails to provide any lasting impression to put it in the same category as either of those films.