June 15, 2021

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Mark Wahlberg’s latest franchise attempt

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mark Wahlberg in Infinite

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mark Wahlberg in Infinite
Photo: Fundamental +

One of the challenges of launching a new science fiction or fantasy universe is explaining all the damn rules that apply to it. Infinity, a solid but largely tacky explosion of the original comic book story, wastes no time moving on to those obligatory stuff. The film explains its premise during an opening tour of Mexico City, in a strangely formal and probably mandatory studio voiceover. Never mind that all this information, extracted from the pages of the novel by D. Eric Maikranz The cards of reincarnation, will be repeated via dialogue later in the film. Infinity it doesn’t risk losing anyone – perhaps logical for a potential blockbuster with more exposure than history.

The story comes courtesy of Heinrich Treadway (Dylan O’Brien), who runs through the car chase prologue on a mission. Next time we see him, he’s completely someone else: a Boston loner played by Mark Wahlberg. Heinrich, you see, is now Evan McCauley, who is shocked to find that the visions running through his head are not symptoms of schizophrenia, as his doctors have long believed, but memories of past lives. Evan is an Infinite, one of a race of eternally reincarnated humans who dress up as mannequins, congregate at the high-tech temple headquarters, and take sides in an endless civil war between different factions of their kind. The good, called The Believers, use their centuries of knowledge and experience to help humanity. The villains, usefully referred to as the nihilists, want to wipe out the entire species, mostly to end their own constantly rebooting existence.

Wahlberg, who could not convince how to high school physics teacher, it seems like an unusual choice to play a man with the wisdom of countless lifetimes. But he is a good companion for an immortal boy “Closed out of its very long memory bank; the film usually asks Evan to look vaguely confused about his circumstances – a Wahlberg specialty. Industry scholarsd of the polls Marky Mark might notice how clean it is Infinity it fits into the career of a movie star who becomes increasingly obsessed with fit into the most serious dilemmas of recent history. What is immorality if not the possibility of playing the hero through the centuries? In fact, Wahlberg brings what he usually does with future franchise rates: hard wood positions and required time in the gym – the same skills he honed for director Antoine Fuqua during their last available collaboration, shoot.

The staging isn’t far from last year’s superhero sleeper The old guard, except that the heroes here have to change their bodies and remake their teeth every time they come down. That film wasn’t a masterpiece, but it seemed to care about the logistical and psychological implications of its age-old concept. For all its data dumps, Infinity answers fewer questions than it raises. IS all reincarnated, and only the Infinite can remember their past lives? they remember? everything, or just the most relevant backstory pieces? The movie’s villain, played by bald and beautifully bearded Chiwetel Ejiofor, has a heavy Marvel master plan. (Literally – he’s looking for an egg-shaped MacGuffin called, uh, The Egg, which he’ll use to … blow everyone up in a cloud of ash.) But the big villain is also the only person on the screen who really looks in difficulty with the burden of eternal life (it has the added existential curse of regaining full knowledge and meaning once it is blown into a new womb), and Ejiofor gives her thirst for emptiness at least a little spark of melancholy. Perhaps the actor is channeling his desire to be somewhere else.

If you no longer explain and explain and explain again, Infinity sends in rudimentary action sequences, skillfully and legibly staged by Fuqua, against a generally thick rock guitar sound background. A little Mission Impossible here, a little Fast & Furious there, a sword fight on a free-falling plane, a chase through a police station (it looks cooler than it looks). At least this time around there’s a decent explanation for the reckless / fearless way people always behave in action movies. Why not Hopping out of that plane or making that sharp turn or running through a hail of bullets when the worst consequence ahead is another puberty?

What Infinity the personality is inevitably lacking. It’s a sci-fi table that all the time runs through introductions and plot points at a mercenary pace, led by a star whose default mode for this type of film is frowning. Just when you start wondering if eternal life is robbing you of your sense of humor, trusty comedy wringer Jason Mantzoukas steps in to hijack the film for a few scenes with his usual I can’t believe I landed. – this brutality concert (plus some cheeky ADR zinger). It looks like it came from a completely different movie, a playful and less corporate one, probably better. Yet his presence has a certain thematic significance: here is another actor, like Mark Wahlberg, who on the screen cannot help but be himself, like a soul that moves from one character to another, with each new performance. a kind of reincarnation.