Review: Infini (EIFF)

Infini 1

Screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

Directed by Shane Abbess

Starring Daniel MacPherson, Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth, Luke Ford

In the 23rd century, a military rescue squad are sent to a remote mining outpost in space to save a colleague and stop a bomb threat…

That plot summary (above) for Infini sounds straight forward, however the presentation of it in the film is anything but. Starting with the warning shot of a heavy textual info dump, the film then proceeds to set up a series of characters and events that are little more than red herrings while info dumping more about the situation and setting, before finally getting to the essential outline above. This makes the film’s opening sequences hard to get through, and that’s the least of Infini’s problems.

The director Shane Abbess made his debut feature Gabriel in his native Australia in 2007. He spent the next seven years trying and failing to mount projects in Hollywood, many of them sequels or based upon pre-existing properties (as is the way of things these days, regrettably). So he’s to be commended for throwing in the towel and returning to Australia to make something original: it’s just a shame it couldn’t have been a little better, more original, and a little more coherent than Infini.

That’s not to say there aren’t good things in Infini, they’re just swamped by unnecessary complexity and incoherence that they get kinda lost. The central idea is solid, if not original being a fusion of bits of Alien and Outland. The ooze-like alien life form that possess people on the outpost has been seen before, as far back as the early The X-Files episode ‘Ice’, so that’s not new. The elite squad sent on a mission is a straight steal from James Cameron’s Aliens (itself based upon countless wartime ‘men on a mission’ movies). The problems of interplanetary ‘beaming’ (or ‘slipstreaming’ as it is here) are well known to experienced science fiction fans, including the potential time warps. Infini desperately wants to be Event Horizon, but it fails miserably.

The performances are basic, the script isn’t great, but the direction and the realisation of a convincing alien environment on an obviously limited budget is well done. A tighter focus on the core story and the cutting of about 15-20 minutes from the running time could have resulted in a short, sharp, effective B-movie. Instead, Infini is an unjustifiably bloated narrative mess.

Verdict: A good attempt with decent production values but a convoluted presentation does irreparable harm, 4/10

Brian J. Robb

For further details visit Edinburgh International Film Festival

Released nationwide in the UK later in 2015

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