The central question in Infini could be framed as 'will Whit Carmichael be home for tea?'. A simple question but given that his day involves the first day on a job where he will slipstream his way to a distant, disaster-prone mining station on another planet, the question is of more than ordinary concern to his pregnant wife.
My liking for science fiction is more literary than cinematic and more based on originality of ideas than amount of violence so I didn't come to this film with the baggage of 'already seen too many other violent SF movies about the same ideas' that seem to be brought to it by some other reviewers.
Yes Infini for me was too violent, did there need to be so many fight scenes? At the same time the off-planet mining colony is a convincingly unsettling and creepy place and the storytelling tense and interesting enough to keep me engaged. I was struck by the use of camerawork to show mental unbalance, the use of the soundtrack to heighten tension and the questions about the meaning of life and the processes of evolution underlying the mysterious parasitic disease that has killed so many people on Infini and threatens to prevent Carmichael's return to his home in time for his tea.
If you watch a lot of violent, action-based SF films, apparently this one feels very derivative. If like me you don't then you may well be drawn into the action, while perhaps deploring the violent excess. And in either case, if you're wondering whether Whit Carmichael does make it home in time for tea, then you'll just need to see the film.
Infini is showing as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival:
1800, 21 June at Cineworld
2030, 25 June at Odeon
You can read my reviews of other films from this year's festival by following the links below:
La Tirisia - love and life in the cacti covered mountains of Mexico
When Elephants Fight - conflict minerals in Congo
Iron Ministry - a cinematic journey through China by rail
Index Zero - dystopian SF set in a future Fortress Europe
30 Days Wild goes to the cinema - how the landscape backdrops two films set in very different countries (Sand Dollars and The Gulls)
Disclaimer, I have a press pass for the Edinburgh International Film Festival and attended a free press screening of this film.
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