Overview: A specialized team is sent on a search and rescue mission to a quarantined outpost in space, in order to terminate a payload containing a biological weapon directed at Earth, and to reclaim a missing soldier; Vertical Entertainment; 2015; Rated R; 110 minutes.
The 23rd Century: Ninety-five percent of the U.S. population lives below the poverty line. The most profitable jobs are dangerous and require slipstreaming (travel via data streams) to teleport the vast distances to work specific sites. To make matters more interesting, certain events can cause soldiers to be recklessly slipstreamed to one mining station in particular, Infini, where the search and rescue crew meet an unseen enemy of parasitic origin. Infini puts to the forefront of the viewer’s imagination a new distinction in the time travel narrative: teleportation, or instantaneous travel. It’s a more realistic approach to today’s data collection, storage, acquisition, and transmittal of digital information, and an idea similar to that of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’s Wonka-Vision. Despite the wild concept, the movie begins in a positive and practical manner.
The Rescued & the Rescuer: Whit Carmichael (Daniel MacPherson) is the unfortunate soldier who is unwittingly transported to Infini. Upon his arrival at the station, he finds the crew in a killing frenzy. Despite Carmichael’s appearance, he is not a born and bred soldier; he is a coder-turned-soldier. But his appearance says otherwise, as Carmichael’s survival against the killing spree is essential to the continuance of the story. If he looked a little less like a G.I. Joe, it would have been more believable (and likely) that he would have become a coward. However, when an outbreak suddenly overtakes his rescuers, Carmichael reads the research and development observation logs on hand, assesses his own blood-work, and comes to the conclusion that he has been contaminated by an unknown parasitic entity. Carmichael shows a textbook conflict in his character, and director Shane Abbess’s concept of Carmichael is stretched out in perhaps far too many directions. In effect, he is converted into the quintessential, unexpected hero, of both brains and brawn, a narrative misdirection seen in the search and rescue team as well, where two or three workers appear larger than makes logical sense according to the logic of the film’s plot, when more specialized roles for some of these characters would have alternatively granted each member more individual merit and believability.
The Alien: We are accustomed to seeing aliens of a similar form. Here, I will give some credit to director Shane Abbess for basing the alien of Infini off of what has actually been found on interplanetary samples: microorganisms. As mentioned earlier, the enemy is too small to be seen, but poses a threat almost equally, if not more powerfully, than a taller and more visible alien species depicted in other films. The fact the aliens are suddenly moved by Carmichael’s speech on humanity during the film’s climax shows one of three things: the aliens are surprisingly merciful, the movie needed a getaway because it didn’t know how, or it suggests a sequel, which is where any admiration stopped and my disbelief started. It was all getting moderately better until it hit that point.
Overall: Infini struggles to develop its characters and create rational plot points. However, the conceptual design of its featured alien differentiates itself from your typical extraterrestrial breeds on film.