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Infinite

Paramount // PG-13 // May 17, 2022
List Price: $25.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted May 31, 2022 | E-mail the Author
Infinite:

I was all prepared to enjoy Antoine Fuqua's 2021 effort Infinite starring Mark Wahlberg and Chiwetel Ejiofor, a glossy, metaphysical action flick. But after about 20 minutes it became clear why this didn't get a theatrical release, and it wasn't just the pandemic. (Although that played a part; in the before times this would have spent a week or three in theaters before limping home.) No, what makes Infinite not much more than a decent Rent It option on a Friday night when you Just. Can't. is the fact that it actually takes itself seriously.

After a voice-over set-up we're thrown into a pretty great high-speed car chase in Mexico with a dude cauterizing a leg wound with the cigarette lighter (fact check - cars don't have those anymore) before employing some intense offensive driving skills that include using controlled acceleration to launch bricks like from a tennis ball serving machine. So far, so good. But it gets even better, as next we suddenly get Evan McCauley (Wahlberg) in a totally unrelated, extremely tense restaurant job interview. McCauley is trying to survive a schizophrenia diagnosis, which also leads him to start chopping up people in an attempt to get his meds from a drug dealer who's a cross between Gary Oldman in True Romance and Jared Leto just going about daily life probably.

Hot damn! This looks a high-concept grindhouse throwback, but alas, over the next hour Fuqua and his overly-confident team of producers reveal the plot behind the fun - based on the novel "The Reincarnationist Papers" - and everyone begins to take the movie seriously. Yes, there are still fights galore, mega-car-chases, a delightful performance from Ejiofor, and Wahlberg's contractually-guaranteed 'vertical crunches' scene, but in general, you'll be called-upon to keep track of things, while giving up hoping for the real danger and fun of the unpredictable opening scenes.

So, either to disabuse you from the idea of watching or to give you fair warning; Wahlberg and Ejiofor are both 'Infinites' - people who are able to remember all of their former-life incarnations, of which there are about 500 in the world, divided between Nihilists who want to destroy everything, and Believers who want to use their super-hero-like abilities, garnered from the accumulation of thousands of past lives, to better the world. Yep, Infinite becomes a puzzle-piece quest to capture a 'very important object' wanted by both sides, so all the resulting action is freighted with the need to understand what's going on and buy into the philosophical underpinnings. Not even a goofy scientist, car-chase through the interior of a police station, and completely impossible motorcycle jump can rescue this movie from its misguided desire to have it both ways. It's basically like a Zack Snyder DCEU movie. (Please direct your complaints to my editor.)

Infinite, starring Mark Wahlberg and Chiwetel Ejiofor, starts out as a fun, unpredictable, high-concept grindhouse movie before descending into confusing self-importance. Pedal-to-the-metal action conflicts with lofty ideas and ultimately rote plot construction - not to mention Wahlberg's weirdly-colored lips (you know I'm right about this) - to make a popcorn flick that's both above and below its putative station. Still, it's fun enough, so Rent It if you're out of other ideas.


The DVD

Video:
You can't fault Infinite for looking fantastic in this 4k UHD, 2.39:1 ratio presentation with Dolby Vision HDR. The movie was shot in 4k, so its transfer to disc is seamless. Details are super sharp and hold up well throughout the frequent hyper-kinetic action. Explosions of shrapnel and smoke maintain integrity, colors (except for Wahlberg's lips) appear natural and deeply saturated, and black levels are very deep and solid. This visual presentation is about as good as it gets.


Sound:
Paramount provides Infinite with a Dolby Digital Atmos mix as well as 5.1 mixes in French, Spanish (Spain or Latin America), German, and Italian. No complaints from me regarding this very active mix, which, due to tons of frenzied and dynamic action, is quite immersive. Everything is mixed well, and dialog is clean and clear and never has to fight with the somewhat obvious soundtrack score. Dynamic range is showcased especially in the low-end, for a thunderous experience.


Extras:
Extras are on the disappointing side, depending on how you look at them. A Digital Download Code, as well as English Audio Description and various Subtitles (English, French, Spanish (Spain or Latin America), Cantonese, German, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Simplified Chinese, and English SDH) are provided. You also get four self-serving EPK type Featurettes all-together totaling 32-minutes, which basically explain to you why the movie is so great. I can't say that I wanted more extras of this type, so maybe their brevity is a blessing.


Final Thoughts:
Infinite, starring Mark Wahlberg and Chiwetel Ejiofor, starts out as a fun, unpredictable, high-concept grindhouse movie before descending into confusing self-importance. Pedal-to-the-metal action conflicts with lofty ideas about reincarnation, and ultimately rote plot construction, to make a popcorn flick that's both above and below its putative station. Still, it's fun enough, so Rent It if you're out of other ideas.

www.kurtdahlke.com

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