Review: Wahlberg thriller 'Infinite' short on sense, long on wild action

Paramount+ action title won't win any awards for coherence, but hey, is that a car chase inside of a police station?

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

As much as it's built to be taken seriously, "Infinite" works better the less you think about it and the more you just go along for the ride. 

This sci-fi action thriller is built on big stunts and high-octane action sequences with little basis in reality but a whole lot of firepower. Wanna see Mark Wahlberg jump a motorcycle off a cliff onto the wing of an airplane? "Infinite's" got you covered. What's he doing jumping his motorcycle off a cliff onto the wing of an airplane? Ehh, don't worry about it, just enjoy the view. 

Mark Wahlberg in "Infinite."

If you must know, Wahlberg plays Evan McCauley, a diagnosed schizophrenic with violent tendencies, who reasons that he's "not crazy, just misunderstood." It turns out Evan is part of an ancient line of reincarnated souls, who is locked in a battle between good and evil with no less than the fate of the world resting in the balance. Or something like that. 

Evan teams up with a group of other reincarnates, who all draw upon the powers of their past lives, including Nora (Sophie Cookson), who helps Evan understand his new reality. They're waging a war against the bad reincarnates, known as the Nihilists, who are led by Bathurst, played by a shaved-bald Chiwetel Ejiofor, hamming it up in barking mad villain mode. 

There's a whole bunch of spiritual and mystical mumbo jumbo about past lives and reincarnation in "Infinite," the kind of world-building stuff from which franchises are meant to be assembled. (The screenplay is based on D. Eric Maikranz's 2009 novel, "The Reincarnationist Papers.") If it plays like a Diet-"Matrix" or Christopher Nolan for Dummies, at least action expert Antoine Fuqua ("Olympus has Fallen," "Training Day") keeps its motor running, staging several "Fast and the Furious"-style car chases, including one that takes place inside a police station. 

Wahlberg himself, who often looks like he just walked in from a Wahlburgers ribbon cutting, doesn't appear to buy into the wonky story, but the action sequences are explosive fun. Maybe "Infinite" isn't crazy, it's just misunderstood. 

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama

'Infinite'

GRADE: B

Rated PG-13: for sequences of strong violence, some bloody images, strong language and brief drug use

Running time: 106 minutes

On Paramount+