In Infinite, Mark Wahlberg looks confused as he relives past action movies

Chiwetel Ejiofor confronts his past life with Mark Wahlberg in Infinite, streaming on Paramount Plus.

In the reincarnation-themed action film Infinite, the bad guys want to kill every creature in the world, so they’ll never have to live it again. All this is never to be lived again. After watching the film, I know the feeling.

OK, so maybe this is a little harsh. But it seems fitting that Infinite (streaming today, June 10, on Paramount Plus) skips theaters and goes straight online. The concept and execution absolutely scream straight-to-video.

Before being announced as film studio Paramount’s first major film, the Mark Wahlberg-headline flick originally delayed by the COVID pandemic was made available on its streaming service, which was recently rebranded . All Access to Paramount Plus from CBS. Coming soon is PAW Patrol: The Movie, released online and in theaters in August, and a streaming debut for A Quiet Place Part II, expected sometime in July.

To be fair to Infinite, it has big budget flair. From an inspiring inaugural car chase on the streets of Mexico to a climactic stunt involving a motorbike and a cargo plane, the screen is full of money with a parade of beautiful sets, spectacular supercars and some great action. Whenever things get flagged, director Antoine Fuqua isn’t afraid to send an armored Aston Martin barreling through a police station in a performance of car-based carnage that will give the Fast and Furious crew a head-rush.

That opening car chase, by the way, included a moment where our hero killed a police car by slamming the wheels of a Ferrari into a pile of bricks and firing a brick well through the windshield of the chase car. Yes, it is that kind of film.

If this sounds kinda funny, yes, it kinda is. There are some neat pieces of fight choreography and some suitably loopy stunts, and the basic concept is pretty intriguing. The film is based on the 2009 novel The Reincarnationist Papers by D. Eric McCranz, originally self-published with a reward given to any reader who presented the book to the filmmaker. Its big idea is that reincarnation is real, and that there are people in the world who remember their past lives.

These people, known as the “Infinite”, bind those memories to the ages of humanity in a long existence. On one side of this secret society are a bunch of chill friends who gather knowledge and understand that existence is beyond the physical form of our bodies. On the other hand there are nihilists, vaguely religious forms that saw avengers: endgame and the two decide to steal Thanos’s massacre plan and Her turn-to-ash visual effects.

Mark Wahlberg stuck in the middle. He’s perfectly cast as a hero who wanders off to ask what’s going on. It’s not great acting, it’s just that no one involved knows. A great thing about the film is that Wahlberg is standing in some bright room looking confused, while people explain things to him, and all the things really lead to nothing. Like, could Anant have superpowers or something? The film doesn’t look solid. It’s an 80-minute action span that spans 146 minutes, and it’s still lacking (Rupert Friend is briefly shown as a villain, suggesting that part of the film was on the cutting room floor). but has been abandoned).

At times, the left hand of the film does not know what the right hand is doing: the script tries to make a mystery out of the possibility that Wahlberg’s strange vision may be a symptom of his troubled mental health, apparently forgetting it. that one pain Tackle-on voice-over already gave it away in 10 seconds.

Seeing Anant, I felt as if my life was shining in front of my eyes. Specifically, the part of my life last year when I sat through Netflix’s similar sci-fi straight-to-video action old guard. That flick also featured immortal warriors who dealt with the joys of eternal life by cutting down armies of mercenaries with swords.

extends just below the appearance of similarity Chiwetel Ejiofor, who appeared in both films. Infinite kicks into a different gear whenever Ejiofor, Liz Carr, and Toby Jones try to hook up with each other. proper acting In scenes that really deal with the philosophical weight of eternal life. This trio of British actors hires a level of gravitas and excitement missing from other scenes featuring Wahlberg and various interchangeable sharp-cheeked model-looking types with vaguely defined fighting skills and no obvious personality single-handedness. Putting the spout on the other doesn’t stand around. Seriously, some cars have more character than some. Aside from the always-watchable Jason Mantzoukas, what seems like the inevitable comic cameo is in a different movie than everyone else.

As with The Old Guard and other recent action movies (like Netflix’s) army of the dead or project power, for example), Infinite clearly has a look at starting a franchise. But for a film about people remembering past lives, Anant is all but forgettable.

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