Director: Shane Abbess
Screenwriter: Shane Abbess, Brian Cachia
Stars: Daniel McPherson, Luke Ford, Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth
Release Date: Out Now
Review by David Griffiths
Way back in 2007 Australian film lovers were reminded just how good our genre filmmaking fraternity was. A fresh faced director by the name of Shane Abbess delivered his labor of love to the big screen – a film called Gabriel. It was a film that he had fought hard to make, he basically funded the film himself by taking on odd jobs (including as a furniture removalist) to see the film get finished. It was certainly worth it, as Gabriel was, and still is, a cinema classic, a film that reminded us that you didn’t need a Wachowski sized budget in order to bring a great looking genre flick to the big screen. Now Abbess returns to Australia, after some time in the U.S., with his brand new film Infini… and it has certainly been worth the wait.
Set in the future Infini finds Whit Carmichael (Daniel MacPherson – City Homicide) joining the group of specialists who slipstream to other planets in order to make money. However when a biological outbreak occurs putting Whit and his team in danger he ends up slipstreaming by himself to an outlining mining outpost where the outbreak originated.
Desperate to rescue him an elite squad consisting of soldiers including Chester Huntington (Luke Ford – Animal Kingdom), Rex Mannings (Dwaine Stevenson – Gabriel) and Harris Menzies (Harry Pavlidis – John Doe: Vigilante) travel to the planet only to learn that all hell has broken out.
Infini is a film that is designed for the hardcore sci-fi or genre film fan. If you were the kind of person that a television show like Farscape left confused, then run for the hills right now because Infini is not the film for you. This is a complex and intelligent film. It doesn’t exactly hurt your brain in the way that Inception and Interstellar does but it is the kind of film that you need to give one hundred per cent attention to when you are watching it to avoid suddenly finding yourself completely lost with what is happening on the screen.
As he did with Gabriel Abbess once again shows why he is one of the finest genre filmmakers going around. His live for retro sci-fi flicks really comes to the fore here because at times while watching Infini it does feel like you’ve jettisoned back to the late 1980s or early 1990s. Stylistically Abbess takes you back to that time period while certainly making Infini feel fresh and new. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Infini is though that Abbess is a director that is really willing to take risks. Early on, the film does feel like you it will be a simple ‘video game level’ style film but when Abbess starts to throw in hallucinations and main character deaths the whole film is completely turned upside down and the suspenseful and foreboding feel to the film really come to the fore.
Naysayers may also be a little worried about the fact that he leading man is Daniel MacPherson, a man that many Australians will know as the host of Dancing With The Stars. But there is really no reason to be worried at all. MacPherson has worked on his acting craft over the years in television shows including Neighbours, The Bill and City Homicide and here he takes a massive step forward. Yes MacPherson actually steps into the role of action hero fairly easily and alongside Luke Ford also manages to deliver a pretty memorable fight sequence that will leave the action lovers out there happy.
Infini is the kind of film that completely draws its audience in and makes them feel that the danger at hand is very real. Abbess has created a futuristic world beyond our imaginations but the suspense and emotion shown throughout the film makes the horror seem more real. This is one of the better sci-fi flicks to have surfaced this year and will certainly become a cult classic.