Infinite blasts onto screens with a thrilling car chase. Treadway (Dylan O’Brien), bleeding, steers his Ferrari Testarossa through the busy streets of Mexico City pursued by the police and a man named Bathurst (Rupert Friend). Unless you really know your Ferrari history or remember what Tom Selleck’s Magnum drove, you might not realize that this scene takes place in 1985. It’s the one time something isn’t explained.
Once we jump to the present day, the action screeches to a halt and people start endlessly expositing and swearing. In voiceover narration there are ruminations about life as we watch Evan (Mark Wahlberg) prepare for a job interview. In real life, this interview never would happen. Evan’s history of schizophrenia and assault already means he won’t get the position at the fancy restaurant. This exchange only exists for the benefit of the audience.
Logically, Evan shouldn’t even need the job. For reasons he doesn’t understand, he forges perfect Japanese swords. For reasons I don’t understand, he sells them to drug dealers for off-the-books antipsychotic medication. Turns out, Evan has lots of information locked up in his head, and it’s driving him crazy.
Meanwhile, Bathurst, now in a different body (Chiwetel Ejiofor), needs Evan to remember something he doesn’t know. See, Evan is the reincarnated Treadway (and if you think the math doesn’t add up, stop thinking), and before leaping to his death from a flying Ferrari, Treadway hid a doomsday device called The Egg.
Both men belong to a special group of warriors who are supposed to retain all their memories from past incarnations, and Bathurst is tired. Obviously, the only way to stop coming back is to make sure there’s nothing to come back to. For the sake of the plot, he has a weapon that can take the souls of his enemies and put them on hard drives, taking them out of rotation. But for reasons that are never addressed, rather than using it on himself he prefers total genocide. Bathurst seems to believe in God, questions if he is fighting against God’s plan, and wonders if God will allow him to succeed.
For those of us who truly believe in the gospel, we trust that people die once and after that comes judgment (Heb. 9:27). The idea of reincarnation, however, can still be intriguing in a “what if?” sense and allows us to frame questions about life and immortality from a different perspective. What are the consequences of eternal life if this reality is all there is? What are the consequences if it’s not?
Not that Infinite is interested in anything beyond “your life matters'' fuzzy feelings. Everyone involved in this movie, especially director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer) should have known better. The fact that it got shunted to Paramount+, a streaming service you probably never heard of, says it all. (Paramount)