“There are among us a people, gifted with a perfect memory of all their past lives. They call themselves Infinites. Among the Infinites, two groups have vied for power. On one side the Believers, dedicated to using their knowledge for the protection and growth of all humanity. Against them stood the Nihilists, who see this power as a curse. New technologies have given the Nihilists an opportunity to end all life on Earth, and the race is on for its control.”
Infinite is an adapted story from D. Eric Maikranz’s novel The Reincarnation Papers. On the surface this is one of those great concepts that could support a film franchise, and might have accomplished just that if the film itself hadn’t taken the route of spectacle over substance. It doesn’t help that this film was hurt by the COVID shutdown of productions and never ended up with the wide release it was originally intended to have. Still, the wide-release budget appears to have remained intact, and for a direct streaming or home video release it looks awesome, and that’s pretty much where my praise ends.
Evan McCauley (Wahlberg) is an unemployed man with some rather odd problems. He has vivid dreams of other times and other people. He also has an enigmatic skill to create precision swords using methods from centuries in the past. Society has labeled his issues as mental illness, and he keeps them at bay through medication that he uses his trade skills to trade for from a local drug dealer. But his latest transaction goes horribly wrong, and a fighting skill set he didn’t know he had allowed him to get out of the situation by leaving many bodies behind. When he’s finally picked up by the “cops”, his world gets even crazier.
He finds himself in an interrogation room with a man who calls himself Bathurst, played by Chiwetel Ejiofer. The man knows about his dreams and has a somewhat crazy answer for him. He claims to be his friend over several lifetimes. He explains that these dreams are actually memories from those earlier lives and that Evan knows something of incredible import. But before they can get to the real issue, a car crashes through the room and he’s being “rescued” by Nora, played by Sophie Cookson. The result is admittedly one of the coolest car chases I’ve ever seen. Nora’s car is chased by an armored SUV through the actual police station, taking out desks, cells, and pillars along the way. Once rescued, Evan hears another side of the story that began with Bathurst. He is her reincarnated lover, and they are part of the sect of Believers, while Bathurst is the leader of the Nihilists. They’ve created something they call The Egg. It’s an Armageddon weapon that will kill all life on Earth. Why? Because people like Bathurst want to stop their cycle of reincarnation. They want it all to stop. In Evan’s previous life, he stole that weapon and hid it. Now she has to get him to remember where before the bad guys get to it and wipe everyone out.
The result is a giant cat-and-mouse chase with plenty of stunts and explosions to keep us distracted from the fact that there is a huge plot hole here that we’re not going to see filled. You see, Bathurst and his guys have a super gun. If they shoot you with this projectile, it stops you from being able to reincarnate. Your soul gets trapped, and the good guys keep those bodies in storage hoping to get them back the people. So here’s the plot hole so large you could fly a starship through it. If Bathurst has a weapon that could end his reincarnation and the reason he wants to kill all life is to end his reincarnation cycle which he considers a curse, why not just shoot himself? I never read the novel, so I’m not sure if this fatal flaw exists in the source material. It’s too huge a logic piece to ignore for me.
Infinite is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The ultra-high-definition image presentation is arrived at with an HEVC codec at an average of 55 mbps. Here’s the deal. The source material is 2K, so this is an upconvert, and it shows. Don’t get me wrong; there are some nice visuals here, but it’s not really much of an upgrade over the Blu-ray version. You get some nicer detail, to be sure, but that’s most notable in the close-ups of faces. Long shots are pretty much the same. There’s a slight upgrade in the black levels with a touch finer scale to shadow definition.
The Dolby Atmos track defaults to a 7.1 version on most systems. Here you will find a more definable upgrade. The surrounds are aggressive, and the action sequences get plenty of room to breathe. The subs come alive in just the right spots to plant you pretty squarely into the action. Dialog is served well enough so that you aren’t resorting to subtitles. Musical cues are spot-on, and the film even does a splendid job of handling silence and quiet when needed. The score delivers the emotional pops, and you will find yourself much more immersed in the audio presentation than the image presentation.
There is only the UHD disc here, so the extras are also found here, albeit in HD only.
They Call Themselves Infinites: (7:43) Cast and crew talk about the high concept here. There’s a bit of behind-the-scenes footage that mainly takes us on a tour of the big sets.
The Kinetic Action Of Infinite: (8:56) This feature mainly focuses on the opening car chase and breaks down the scene’s various elements. Cast and crew also introduce us to the various characters/actors.
Anatomy Of A Scene – Police Station And Forest: (12:55) This is a breakdown of two scenes, but the best and longest stuff looks at that very cool police station car chase.
Infinite Time: (5:11) We get some conceptual art and pre-vis to look at one of the film’s specific aspects. It’s that “air feeling” thing they do to plug into what is very much like The Force. We get to see how the big cargo plane fight scene was accomplished.
I wanted to love the film. I really love the concept, and it’s also a very strong cast. There are some truly brilliant action scenes here to add to the mix. So why did I walk away unsatisfied? The storytelling just doesn’t come together for me. Many of those high concept ideas aren’t fully fleshed out, and I was confused about this whole “Force” thing. Too many plot holes just put it all out of reach for me. I’d actually like to see someone take the idea and continue it. So as much as I was disappointed, I’d like to see a sequel where maybe “All the little things might come together.”