Infinite: immortality is a sentence

Infinite: immortality is a sentence


Who wants to live Forever? sang Queen, in a cult song that addressed the human condition, born as the soundtrack for a cult film that had made immortality its fulcrum, Highlander. Eternal life has always been one of the great human aspirations, which have revisited it in myths such as the Fountain of Eternal Youth, recently found in Jungle Cruise, or in the Holy Grail, the object of Indiana Jones' desire and the last Crusade. Mentioning all the works that have seen immortality as central would require a long list, from novels like Heinlein's The Sons of Methuselah to comics like The Old Guard, yet this topic has now arrived in the Amazon Prime Video catalog with Infinite, new action movie based on the novel The Reincarntion Protocol starring Mark Wahlberg in which eternal life is at the center of the dispute.

Again, Amazon Prime Video offers a second chance to a film born to arrive in cinemas before Covid , but which after complex vicissitudes finally finds a place in the world of streaming entertainment. To give confidence, in this case, was the name of Antoine Fuqua, a name dear to action cinema, who in recent days has been able to show his vision of cinema also on Netflix, with The Guilty. But sometimes, the good name of a director is not synonymous with a production that lives up to expectations, as unfortunately Infinite demonstrates, which despite some interesting ideas cannot shake off the unpleasant feeling of being only the copy of a thousand summaries, for say it to Bersani.

Infinite, the immortals at war

The long relationship between immortality and the collective imagination, as mentioned before, makes it difficult to manage this topos, which has been dealt with in every respect. The search for a new point of view, a change of paradigm within its characterization is difficult, which is why we could be lenient if we were offered a film that, although lacking in great news, at least knew how to offer a compelling dynamic. that it was not a continuous reminder of something already seen. Infinite, on the other hand, leaves the opposite feeling, as of a project unable to assume its own identity, preferring to cannibalize elements of other works in an attempt to offer high-level entertainment, which after a few minutes reveals its nature as an action film from to see without so many expectations.

In Infinite, the immortals are a reality, they have lived among us for centuries and try to guide the world with their wisdom and influence. Within this community of eternals, a rift was created when Bathurst (Chiwetel Ejiofor) decides that eternal life is a sentence he wants to escape, at the cost of ending his entire life on Earth. Of course, the 'good guys' in history intend to stop him, but to stop Bathurst from realizing his intent they need the help of Ewan McCauley (Mark Wahlberg), a man afflicted with schizophrenia who lives on the fringes of society.

Ewan struggles to find a place in the world, plagued by delusional visions of distant pasts that accompany him from puberty. This is combined with his profound knowledge of foreign languages, atypical skills such as forging katanas or familiarity with distant places. All of this finally finds an explanation when he is arrested after a petty crime, when he meets the mysterious Bathurst, who reveals to him a fanciful story that he is an immortal. Ewan's delusions would be memories of past lives, since Infinite immortality does not concern the body, but the soul, which is reincarnated starting a new life cycle, with the memory of previous events.

To be able to mastering these memories requires training, which passes from contact with objects from one's previous existence that trigger mental mechanisms. That's what Bathurst is trying with Ewan when he suddenly comes to a young woman, who after a daring escape, reveals the true nature of his existence and Bathurst's genocidal plan. A revelation that Ewan accepts all too quickly as a plausible explanation for his delusional visions, agreeing to help the Infinites stop Bathurst.

Infinite, under-exploited potential

In Infinite, the idea of immortality has a small momentum of innovation, relying on the concept of the soul rather than the immortality of the body. An interesting variation, compared to the cinematographic tradition that sees Highlander as its fulcrum, which allows, at least on paper, to give life to a villain, Bathurst, who suffers from this continuous reincarnation, from which he would like to escape. The script by Ian Shorr, on the other hand, takes what could be Infinite's true strength and makes her a character devoid of bite, fluctuating between a Bondian villain aplomb and ironic dandy, failing to make the most of the art of an actor. level like Chiwetel Eijofor, torn between these two contrasting souls of a potentially spectacular character.

Certainly Wahlberg was no longer incisive, flat and monotone throughout the film. The rapid acceptance of his condition as an immortal is managed with an embarrassing acting, seasoned with forced and banal dialogues, from which nothing of the character's emotionality transpires, conveyed only by some obligatory explanations useful, for the most part, to contextualize the mechanism of reincarnation. The entire plot of Infinite, therefore, loses the two pillars on which it rests, which turn out to be an anonymous protagonist and an antagonist without a defined identity, united by a story that presents fragility magnified by poorly enlightened narrative choices. It is difficult to see Infinite and not to make comparisons with other works in which immortality and memories are central, from the aforementioned Highlander to the Matrix, from which Infinite seems to take the concept of the chosen one, however lacking the emotional characterization of this figure.

Fuqua he finds himself managing a film devoid of soul, which he cannot straighten even with the action sequences, which are also devoid of identity and stereotyped. Incredible, thinking back to other films by the director, such as Equalizer and The Magnificent 7, where the rhythm of the clashes was reconstructed with particular intensity, where Fuqua showed his mastery of the vision and management of the dynamism of the choral scenes. In Infinite, the director seems to aim for the spectacularity of cheap explosions, with shootings and action sequences that draw their strength from a musical accompaniment that tries, with good results, to give a vital twist to an otherwise colorless film.

Infinite sadly falls into that list of titles condemned by Covid-19, removed from theaters and, unfortunately, landed in the streaming world. The industry giants need to have a constant supply supply for their subscribers understandable, but films like Infinite would once have been direct-to-video, ready to be quickly forgotten.

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