As 2017 comes to a close it is time to look forward to 2018. So far, the box office looks to be stacked all year long. Marvel looks to continue their reign of dominance with the release of Ant-Man and The Wasp and the much-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War. Meanwhile, DC Entertainment looks to rebound from Justice League with the very first Aquaman movie. We also see the return of beloved franchises with the release tentpole films such as Pacific Rim: Uprising, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Mission: Impossible 6. For those with a bit of franchise fatigue original movies like Proud Mary and Annihilation look to be some of the most interesting films of the year. So, before the beginning of the new year here’s a look at some of the biggest action movies heading to theaters in 2018.
1. ‘The Commuter’
Release Date: January 12, 2018
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson
Since the success of Taken Liam Neeson has been known less for critically acclaimed dramas and more for his hyper kinetic action-thrillers. Looking to settle down Neeson has announced that The Commuter will be his last action movie. Even though it looks like typical Neeson action on its surface what makes it stand out is director Jaume Collet-Serra. The director of Run All Night and Unknown his movies with Neeson have a bit more to them. Add a surprisingly star-studded cast and you have a hell of a way for Liam Neeson to end his reign as the king of old man action.
2. ‘Proud Mary’
Release Date: January 12, 2018
Director: Babak Najafi
Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Billy Brown, Danny Glover
Since her first major role in Baby Boy actress Taraji P. Henson has been one of the most reliable stars in Hollywood. After the success of Empire and Hidden Figures she gets her first lead action role in Proud Mary. Portraying the successful hitwoman Mary, her character starts to have a change of heart when confronted by a child she has orphaned. Looking to be a mix of Leon: the Professional and the Blaxploitation films of old it could be the surprise hit of the year.
3. ‘Black Panther’
Release Date: February 16, 2018
Director: Ryan Coogler
Stars: Chardwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o
When it comes to their movies Marvel does best when they don’t try to be superhero movies. For example, the Captain America movies came into their own when they turned CA: The Winter Soldier into a spy movie. Similarly, the Thor movies found their footing when they took a more comedic turn in Thor: Ragnarok. The latest to follow the trend will be February’s Black Panther. First introduced in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther is looking to be a mix of capes and political intrigue when T’Challa has to protect the throne after returning to Wakanda. It’s an interesting concept and with Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) handling the directing and such an amazing cast I have complete faith in their vision.
Release Date: February 23, 2018
Director: Alex Garland
Stars: Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson
Since his directorial debut with 2014’s Ex Machina, Alex Garland has kept a low profile. He has been quietly working on what looks to be one of the most interesting sci-fi movies in quite a while. Set in the distant future Lena, a biologist, travels into the mysterious Area X after her husband comes back with a mysterious disease. Mixing science fiction, horror and action, Annihilation looks to be one of the most unique films of the year.
5. ‘Triple Threat’
Release Date: N/A
Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Stars: Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa
When it comes to putting together a genre movie the “Put all the big stars together” strategy has worked surprisingly well. Whether it’s classic cinema like 1960’s The Magnificent Seven to more modern fare like The Expendables a solid ensemble film can be a blast to watch. The latest to do this will be Triple Threat. Directed by Jesse V. Johnson (Savage Dog) Triple Threat will be bring together some of the biggest names in modern martial arts cinema. With stars from around the world it stars everyone from dependable hands like Scott Adkins and Michael Jai White to foreign favorites such as Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais and Celina Jade. While it doesn’t have a release date yet Triple Threat is sure to be at the top of any action movie lover’s Must-See list.
6. ‘A Wrinkle in Time’
Release Date: March 9, 2018
Director: Ava DuVernay
Stars: Storm Reid, Chris Pine, Oprah Winfrey
Based on the classic science fiction novel, A Wrinkle in Time looks to be one of the most creative movies in quite some time. When her scientist father mysteriously disappears, Meg discovers the he is on a distant planet and held by mysterious forces. With the help of her friends and a trio of astral beings Meg travels across the galaxy to save her father.
7. ‘Tomb Raider’
Release Date: March 16, 2018
Director: Roar Uthaug
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Daniel Wu
Based on the 2013 reboot of the same name Tomb Raider tells the story of Lara Croft and her first expedition. Less the globe-trotting adventures seen a decade ago this Tomb Raider is looking to pair a bit more character based drama with its major action set pieces. If done correctly Tomb Raider could make Lara Croft a household name all over again.
8. ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’
Release Date: March 23, 2018
Director: Steven S. DeKnight
Stars: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny
10 years since the “Battle of the Breach” the jaegers have been modified to become an elite defense force. As a new generation of pilots are trained, ex-pilot Jake Pentecost is recruited to take on a whole new breed of kaiju. With Guillermo del Toro writing and producing it looks to become a cult classic just like its predecessor.
9. ‘Ready Player One’
Release Date: March 30, 2018
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn
In a dystopian future where the world has succumbed to perils like overpopulation humanity escapes by travelling into a virtual reality known as the OASIS. When the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, passes away humans are given the chance to find the Easter Egg; ownership of the OASIS and Halliday’s vast fortune. As the world looks for this hidden treasure teenager Wade and his friends defy the odds fighting for it both in and out of the OASIS.
Release Date: April 20, 2018
Director: Brad Peyton
Stars: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Naomie Harris, Joe Manganiello
The Undertaker, Kane, Brock Lesnar, The Rock has faced against some of the biggest and baddest monsters the wrestling world has ever seen. And yet, somehow, he has generally avoided them on the big screen. That changes with Rampage. Based on the video game it stars The Rock as primatologist Davis Okoye. When a genetic experiment goes awry it transforms an albino ape, a wolf and a lizard into larger than life monsters. Big, loud and a bit silly, Rampage looks like the kind of fun The Rock excels at.
11. ‘Avengers: Infinity War’
Release Date: May 4, 2018
Director: The Russo Brothers
Stars: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson
This is it, the main event. Since being introduced during a mid-credits scene in The Avengers, Thanos has been the one slowly been built as the biggest threat the Avengers will ever face. And if the trailer is anything to go by Avengers: Infinity War will be just as big. From the return of Captain America to the Guardians of the Galaxy meeting Thor, Avengers: Infinity War looks to be the biggest and best Marvel movie yet.
12. ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’
Release Date: May 25, 2018
Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke
After the success of The Last Jedi Disney and Lucasfilms are heading back to the past with Solo: A Star Wars Story. Going back to a space western theme Solo: A Star Wars Story is about one of Han Solo’s earliest adventures with Chewbacca and an encounter with Lando Calrissian. While plot details are still scarce it sounds like a must-see for any Star Wars fan.
13. ‘Deadpool 2’
Release Date: June 1, 2018
Director: David Leitch
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz
Since Disney bought out 21st Century Fox there has been question on everyone’s minds, what about the R-Rated superhero movies? It looks like we’ll find out on June 1st when Deadpool 2 arrives. A sequel to 2016’s surprise hit Deadpool 2 looks to expand on the original with the inclusion of his comic book companions Cable and Domino. With John Wick‘s David Leitch behind the camera expect the action to finally catch up with the humor.
14. ‘The Incredibles 2’
Release Date: June 15, 2018
Director: Brad Bird
Stars: Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Holly Hunter
With Pixar pumping out more sequels in recent years one question has been asked, what about The Incredibles? One of Pixar’s biggest hits the original was a loving tribute to superheroics and old school spy movies. While we don’t know much about the plot the return of Brad Bird is more than enough reason to be excited for this long-awaited sequel.
15. ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’
Release Date: June 22, 2018
Director: J.A. Bayona
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum
In the years since the destruction of Jurassic World the dinosaurs have taken over the island. With a volcanic eruption imminent Claire and Owen are sent to save some of these remaining prehistoric beasts. But as Claire and Owen start settings things right they quickly learn about a conspiracy deeper than they could have imagined.
16. ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’
Release Date: July 6, 2018
Director: Peyton Reed
Stars: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Walton Goggins
Following Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man is considered a fugitive after escaping from the superhero prison known as The Raft. Struggling to balance his superheroics with his responsibilities as a father he is once again approached by Dr. Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne with an important mission.
17. ‘Alita: Battle Angel’
Release Date: July 20, 2017
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly
Based on the popular manga Alita: Battle Angel follows Alita, a deactivated female cyborg. Found at a local dump by Dr. Dyson Ido she is revived with her only memories being the ancient martial art of Panzer Kunst. In need of a purpose and an identity Alita becomes a hunter-warrior in a dystopian town known as the Scrapyard.
18. ‘Mission: Impossible 6’
Release Date: July 27, 2018
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg
Few franchises have aged as well as Mission: Impossible. Starting as an alternative to James Bond this Tom Cruise-led series has been home to some of the most exciting action set-pieces ever put to film. Not much is known plot wise but with Rogue Nation director Christopher McQuairre returning fans know they’re in for a treat.
19. ‘The Predator’
Release Date: August 3, 2018
Director: Shane Black
Stars: Sterling K. Brown, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes
Few names get excited as much as Shane Black does. The writer of Lethal Weapon, The Monster Squad and Iron Man 3 he is one of the most talented creators in Hollywood today. Naturally, Predator fans were stoked to hear he would not only be returning to a series he has been a part of (playing Hawkins in the 1987 original) but that he has also been brought on as writer and producer. With a cast including Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane and Olivia Munn it’s looking to be another great entry in the Predator franchise.
20. ‘The Meg’
Release Date: August 10, 2018
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Stars: Jason Statham, Ruby Rose, Li Bingbing
A former Naval captain, Jonas Taylor barely escapes with his life after being attacked by a 70-foot shark; the megalodon. Years later he is forced to confront his fears when he is hired for a deep-sea rescue mission. The Meg might not be the most original movie but it sounds like the perfect breather after a summer of tentpole films.
Release Date: October 5, 2018
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Stars: Tom Hardy, Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams
After years in development hell Sony is finally putting out a Venom movie. Aiming for an R-rating Venom is looking to establish itself as its own franchise before crossing over with Spider-Man or the MCU although there are plans for it in the future. Currently in production the plot remains unknown.
22. ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’
Release Date: November 2, 2018
Director: Simon Kinberg
Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult
Set a decade after X-Men: Apocalypse the X-men are a known group of superheroes. And while mutants are more accepted than ever the X-Men are called into space by a mysterious shape-shifting alien. An adaption of “The Dark Phoenix Saga” storyline it will also feature Jean Grey losing control of her powers with the X-Men forced to take her on. The last of the X-Men films before they join the Marvel Cinematic Universe it’s truly the end of an era.
Release Date: November 16, 2018
Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki
After his Academy Award-winning turn with 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen will go in a completely different direction with Widows. Four armed robbers, including Liam Neeson and Jon Bernthal, are killed in a failed heist attempt. With a debt left behind by their husbands the four widows are forced together to finish the job.
24. ‘Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse’
Release Date: December 14, 2018
Director: Bob Perscichetti and Peter Ramsey
Stars: Shameik Moore, Liev Schreiber, Mahershala Ali
Spider-Man has always had potential to go beyond New York City. The source material has a wealth of storylines involving clones, monsters and interdimensional travel. It looks like Sony will finally take advantage of this. Focusing on Miles Morales, a Spider-Man from an alternate reality, taking up the mantle of Spider-Man after Peter Parker dies in battle. Combining computer animation with hand-drawn techniques it looks to be one of the best superhero movies of the year.
Release Date: December 21, 2018
Director: James Wan
Stars: Jason Mamoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson
After defeating Steppenwolf with the Justice League Arthur Curry returns to the sea. Reluctantly taking the throne as king of Atlantis, Aquaman struggles maintaining peace between the surface world and an Atlantis ready for war. With his own half-brother plotting against him, the king of Atlantis may find the solution diving into his past.
Fast & Furious 9 Review | Completely Crazy in the Best Way Possible
“If we obey the laws of physics, we’re gonna be fine”. Words you’d never imagine you’d hear one day being spoken in a Fast & Furious film. The franchise has seen cars jumping out a plane, cars driving a safe around the streets of Rio de Janeiro, cars jumping out of a skyscraper and into another. And then into another skyscraper. The laws of physics are long gone in this franchise but now we hear these ludicrous words spoken by Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges as he and Roman are in a Pontiac Fiero with a rocket strapped onto the top heading into outer space. Yes- they’re heading into space this time!
Fast & Furious 9 has somehow managed to get even more bonkers than the previous instalments and it’s completely crazy but in the best way possible. Vin Diesel’s Dom and his gang are back and they’re facing their toughest villain yet. This time it’s in the form of John Cena who plays Jakob, Dom’s younger brother. It is a bit strange that in a franchise that’s so big on ‘family’ we’ve never heard of Dom’s brother before but nonetheless he’s the big bad that this film needs.
Fast & Furious 9 is exactly the film fans of the franchise will want. If you loved all the previous instalments, then it’s definitely the film for you and you should see it on the biggest screen you can to really take in the wonderful action scenes in all their glory. If, however, you’ve seen the previous films and rolled your eyes at the absurdity and not liked it, I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t the film for you, and you should avoid it all costs.
The franchise has become much more self-aware, and whilst for Vin Diesel this is probably his Shakespeare, there’s a lot more fun and humour to be had in Fast 9 than in the previous instalments. I found myself constantly laughing just at the absurdity of the stunts that are going on. But in a good way. It was so outlandish and crazy, but I loved every second of it. Obviously, them going to space is the pinnacle of the franchise (although I’m sure Fast 10 will come up with something even more ridiculous) but the whole film is full of moments like these. Towards the start in one of the opening car chases we hear Dom asking “how fast?”. He’s asking how fast they need to be driving in order that they can drive over a land mine and be going fast enough that it can explode and not hurt them.
It really is so much fun seeing what crazy action set-piece they can come up with next and it’s an absolute joy to watch. It’s exactly the big budget popcorn film we need right now to return to the cinema with. Not everything makes sense and the laws of physics are so far out the window but seeing cars being thrown about the streets because of giant magnets is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before and it’s entertaining to watch. If you like ridiculous action scenes, then it’s impossible not to enjoy this film.
Fast & Furious 9 is the first time the franchise has taken a deeper look at Dom’s past with multiple flashback scenes to a younger Dom in an effort to really draw out much more emotion. And whilst the film doesn’t do a bad job of this and whilst Toretto’s backstory is relevant to this film’s plot, it’s not necessarily the audience’s number one priority for a Fast & Furious film which is why the film’s runtime is a hefty 2 hours and 25 minutes.
It is wonderful though seeing the Fast cast back again and seeing characters like Jordana Brewster’s Mia and Sung Kang’s Han return after a few films. Han somehow survived what we thought was his death back in Tokyo Drift (and then again in the Fast & Furious 6 credits scene) and it might not be the best explanation but it’s always a joy to see fan’s favourite Han back again. On top of the returning cast, John Cena is a welcome addition to the franchise and fits in so well that you almost wouldn’t notice that Dwayne Johnson wasn’t back this time around.
Fast & Furious 9 somehow doubles down on the ridiculousness of the previous films and is even crazier than ever but that just makes the film even more of a wild thrill-ride that’s so entertaining to watch.
Fast and Furious 9 is released in UK cinemas on Thursday June 24th
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard | Review
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is everything you’d want from a big summer blockbuster action-comedy. There’s plenty of gunfights and car chases and Samuel L. Jackson’s dropping f-bombs like there’s no tomorrow. Whilst the plot is a bit ridiculous, and it moves at such a fast pace that you’ve probably got whiplash by the end of it The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a really entertaining and fun film. It’s the sort of thing you can watch and switch your brain off for a few hours and just enjoy.
When The Hitman’s Bodyguard was first released in 2017, I don’t think there was anyone desperately calling out saying they needed a sequel but in all honestly, the follow-up is better than the first film. Everything‘s bigger this time around- including the title which is now a real mouthful! The stakes have heightened, the action scenes are bigger, and the cast has increased too with Antonio Banderas and Morgan Freeman joining Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds this time around.
Ryan Reynolds’ Michael Bryce has been stripped of his bodyguarding licence and has been roped into helping hitman Darius Kincaid (Sam Jackson) by his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) and all of a sudden, they’re the only ones that can stop the whole of Europe from being destroyed. If you’re going to see this film, the chances are that you’re not going to see it for the plot and that’s completely understandable. Antonio Banderas plays a man called Aristotle Papadopoulos and if you can’t guess from the name alone, he’s the utterly ridiculous, over-the-top evil mastermind. But much like everything else in this film which is incredibly OTT, we don’t necessarily care much about his plan and the stakes don’t really feel very real, but it all still unfolds in a really entertaining way.
The film is quite generic, with Ryan Reynolds playing his usual wise-cracking self and Samuel L. Jackson probably swearing more times than there are minutes in the film but the reason why it all works and you can forgive its misgivings is because it’s funny and it’s entertaining. Granted there were no stand-out jokes or lines that will still have you laughing in the car on the way home, and overall the film is generic and somewhat forgettable, but being sat there in the cinema in the moment, you can’t help but have an absolute blast of a time.
The fim’s pretty relentless in its pacing as it picks you up right at the start and doesn’t let go until the very end. It moves so quickly from one action scene to another as we journey around Italy waiting to see in which city the next destructive shootout will take place in. It’s quite shocking that the film’s only 100 minutes long because by the end, it certainly feels like a lot more has happened because of how quickly the film moves.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard won’t win any Oscars- unless they introduce a new one for most swearing- and it doesn’t break new ground for action comedies but it’s great fun. It’s full of laughs, swearing, explosions and just about everything you’d want from a summer blockbuster. It’s better than the first film and I really hope we see these characters again soon because it’s a really solid formular for a great time.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is in cinemas now.
Infinite | A Michael Bay Imitation Film
Infinite Desperately Wants to Impress With its Style, But Has No Substance.
Paramount wanted to get ahead in the streaming game with Paramount+ but made the novice mistake of selling most of their titles, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to other streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix instead of…I don’t know…growing their own. With barely any content left and keeping their big tentpole releases such as A Quiet Place: Part II and Top Gun: Maverick in cinemas, Paramount is finally saying “Ahhhhhh! I get it!” after every other major streaming service, especially Disney+ and HBO Max, used the pandemic as a pretext to grow their subscriber base. However, having sold most of its upcoming films to other streaming services, the studio only seems to have duds in the hopes of growing its subscriber base. Enter Antoine Fuqua’s latest film, Infinite, which strangely never feels like something the director of such visceral action pictures like Training Day, Bait, Tears of the Sun, Shooter, Brooklyn’s Finest, and The Equalizer, but Fuqua desperately wanting to emulate Michael Bay’s signature style.
There’s only one problem, however: even if you want to do Bayhem, and you intend to replicate it as accurately as you can, there’s a sole filmmaker that can do it right—and that’s Bay himself. But it doesn’t matter for Fuqua; he starts his overtly aestheticized action amazingly quickly, with an upbeat car chase staged to the rhythms of Campfire’s Legends Never Die, with Heinrich Treadway (Dylan O’Brien) being pursued by Bathurst (Rupert Friend), who looks for a thingamajig aptly named “The Egg” (because it’s shaped like an egg, of course!), which has the power of destroying…the entire world (how original!). Treadway dies without giving away The Egg’s location. Suddenly, a man named Evan McCauley (Mark Wahlberg) wakes up from his Treadway nightmare. We progressively learn that McCauley has schizophrenia who constantly remembers things from past lives he seemed to have never experienced before. He is what the “Believers” call “Infinites,” whose souls constantly get reincarnated inside a different body. He is quickly apprehended by Bathurst (now played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) after using a hand-crafted sword in a drug deal gone bad. His “life” changes drastically once Evan learns that he possesses Treadway’s soul and must reawaken his memory to quickly find The Egg before Bathurst does and destroys the entire world.
Let’s be honest: movies that center on thingamajigs (or MacGuffins as academics would call them) are amazingly tiresome and can only go so far before it veers off in predictable territory. Thankfully, Fuqua’s emulation of Bayhem makes many of its central action setpieces move at a somewhat entertaining pace. The car chase at the beginning involving Dylan O’Brien’s Treadway is filled with Bay’s rapid editing and an over-reliance on a moving camera that always, and I mean, always acts like a paintbrush to produce a copious, almost gratuitous amount of flashy style. And by flashy style, I mean excessive use of slow-motion, flares, and explosions or low-angles during 1-on-1 fight sequences. The explosions in this film are particularly reminiscent of Bay’s pictures, though not as big in scale, but produce the same cathartic effect. One scene in which Evan and Nora (Sophie Cookson) try to run away from Bathurst’s robotic henchmen inside a buggy has a precise explosion that, in its staging of using slow-motion at a pinpoint moment, feels as if it’s been directed by Bay. I mean, heck, if the end credits said “Directed by Michael Bay” instead of Antoine Fuqua, I’d believe it.
By doing this, Fuqua prevents the film from being a total dud than it is, since the script is filled with so many ineptitudes on:
- The world of the Infinites. The difference between the “believers” and “nihilists” is barely explained in two throwaway lines that almost feel unimportant. I can only explain the nihilists, who want all life to cease existing so they can stop reincarnating themselves, which adds a weird ineptitude on:
- Bathurst’s motivations. He wants to stop reincarnating himself and has developed a bullet that prevents believers from doing so. Ok, so if you’ve developed a bullet that grants your sole motivation…why not shoot yourself with it instead of bringing the entire world down with you? I’m sorry, but we never know the why behind Bathurst’s plan to destroy the world, aside from the overly used “humans are stupid, so I guess I need to bring them down with me” line, after torturing Toby Jones’ character by shoving…*checks notes*…honey down his mouth…interesting.
These two main problems falter its extremely stylized action for a sci-fi picture that’s as smart as Mark Wahlberg’s previous tenure in that genre…with Michael Bay in Transformers: Age of Extinction and The Last Knight. Hell, here’s another thing: if you would’ve told me that this is set in the world of Transformers that Wahlberg reprised his role as Cade Yeager through a new alter-ego, who now has the memories of somebody else (through unbeknownst reasons), then guess what? I would’ve believed it too. Wahlberg’s performance is no different than his exploration of the Transformers universe: half-charm, half-cluelessness, which equates to accepting every preposterous explanation on “Infinites” as “fact” and tagging along with people he’s never seen before and pretend everything’ll be fine, even if he is now tasked to save the entire world, in the same sense he had to do it (twice!) with the Autobots.
His character progression starts by being the only character that asks questions to the Infinites, who will then explain the film’s facile and underdeveloped plot in hackneyed detail, until he becomes the hero we deserve, but didn’t know we needed, as he uses a sword à la Morpheus from The Matrix Reloaded to bring down an entire plane and fight with Bathurst in the air, without any parachute, in the craziest, most bewildering action scene I’ve seen that defies all sense of logic and paints their characters as God-like mythic figures since The Fast and the Furious franchise said “no more logic” when Dom Toretto destroyed a parking lot with his feet.
Speaking of Bathurst, Chiwetel Ejiofor, a usual powerhouse, is completely miscast here and delivers his worst performance to date with an indescribable accent that makes everything about his antagonistic presence feel terribly cartoonish and over-the-top. He’ll refine his antagonist chops, most likely in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. I truly hope he’ll return to a more natural state of acting as he did as Mordo in Scott Derrickson’s 2016 film (or even when he compellingly portrayed Scar in the 2019 remake of The Lion King), instead of doing whatever the hell he’s doing here. I can barely explain, or comprehend, if you will, what Ejiofor even attempted to do in Infinite to render his antagonist menacing…but it clearly didn’t work and made every scene he’s in feel unintentionally hilarious. Look at the scene in which he tortures Toby Jones with honey and how he tries to make his awfully written lines serious and menacing and yet does the exact opposite. It’s quite a feat to see, but it needs to be forgotten sooner rather than later.
This is probably why Paramount dropped Infinite on a streaming service no one is subscribed to, so it can be easily forgotten and buried inside an ever-growing algorithm that “curates” films on content rather than quality. While Infinite contains a hefty number of fun action sequences that imitate Michael Bay’s unmatched style, it, unfortunately, does not overshadow its terribly facile and underdeveloped plot and caricatural lead performances from Mark Wahlberg and Chiwetel Ejiofor. If you’re a fan of Antoine Fuqua, you won’t watch this and go through his previous films instead, which would be for the better. Let’s hope his remake of The Guilty, set to release later this year on Netflix, will be better than Infinite (spoiler: it likely will).
Infinite is now available to stream on Paramount+.
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