Review: 'Infinity Chamber', A Sci-Fi Film That Wastes Its Potential

Infinity Chamber starring Christopher Soren Kelly as the lead character, Frank, Cassandra Clark as Frank's love interest, Gabby, and Jessie Arrow as the LSO (Life Support Operator) computer system voice, Howard, was a movie that left me with a lot of questions and not the good kind. So, because of this I did something that I never do with reviews for this blog; I watched the movie twice. I thought maybe it had to do something with me. Maybe I tuned out one too many times. Maybe I checked Twitter one too many times. Maybe I was just tired. Either way, I decided to give the movie a second chance because I didn't want for the review for this movies to suffer because of my own actions, but, after watching it, in all honesty, it still didn't really help.

This movie had its heart in the right place. If I had to compare it to other movies of the past so that you could get a feel for what it's about, think if some of the ethical questioning of Her, met with the technology of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and then combined with the story structure of Source Code, you'd have this movie, but only if they were executed on the more amateurish side.

This movie had promise. With a plot like...

           "Infinity Chamber tells the story of an automated justice system in the future and the 
           tragedies that occur when the computer systems become flawed. We follow one
           prisoner who is falsely arrested and thrown into an automated prison to undergo an 
           intense interrogation program that forces him to relive the day of his suspected crime 
           over and over until the evidence is found to either convict or acquit him. During this 
           process, a war erupts in the outside world, leaving our hero trapped inside the prison 
           with a security system that refuses to release him. He must venture into his own 
           synthesized memory to find a way out and escape back to a world that may already 
           be gone."

...I was immediately intrigued. I love a good sci-fi movie and I am always interested in movies that spark conversations around the use AI systems. However, I must say that while watching it I found that the actual movie didn't live up to the hype, tension, and sinister feel that comes across in the synopsis. I thought going in that I was getting something more along the lines of 2001: A Space Odyssey where the technology goes rogue for some kind of selfish reason, and maybe that was wrong  of me to assume that. Nonetheless, assumptions aside, the execution of the actual movie still wasn't;t enough, in fact, it was the biggest disappointment and flaw of the movie. 

Just about from beginning to end I always had at least one question running through my mind; whether it was questions about what had just happened, what was currently happening and/or what the significance was of a certain object or plot point, I was more or less in a constant state of confusion throughout much of the movie, though the level of said confusion varied from scene to scene. Albeit, upon my second viewing there were things that were made more clear to me like the character's motivations and certain plot points, overall, I just felt like the filmmakers took the whole "show don't tell" technique a little too literally. They would show things, but majority of the time the explanation would be lost on me. Because of this when the climax happens or what could be considered one of the climaxes of the movie happens where we learn about Frank's background and true motivations, it doesn't really feel like a worthwhile pay-off because you're left scratching your head thinking, "When were we ever really shown or told that this was even a possibility?" The reasoning makes sense but if you even so much as blink, you'll have missed it.

There were also moments and things that I could tell you were of significance or had meaning to the movie, but if you asked me to explain what that significance or meaning was I wouldn't be able to. There was a picture that was shown quite a few times throughout the movie, and maybe this was me just totally missing it, but by the movie's end I was left still pretty confused as to what it was they were trying to convey or tell us with that specific picture. 

I thought the editing at times made the movie feel unfinished. There were moments where I could tell that there was more to a scene, but more than likely due to an attempt at cutting down the movie's run time, they decided to just go with editing out parts of scenes that may not have added a lot to the overall movie, but would have instead made it feel more cohesive. There were also moments where the dubbed over dialogue was way too apparent and made the movie feel sloppy.

The movie does feel a bit repetitive after a while, but I understand that it's more of a byproduct of the setting of the movie since one of the whole things about the plot is the fact that Frank is imprisoned in this tiny room. So, I won't fault the filmmakers too much for it, though, I will say that I've seen movies with even less setting changes that don't fall victim to that kind of repetitive feel. 

Overall, like I've said, this movie has potential. Though, you could liken it to past sci-fi movies, it still comes off as being original. Had the execution involved more explanations for key plot points and less repetition, and little things like editing and ADR been taken more seriously, this could've been a pretty decent movie.

Infinity Chamber is out now on VOD/Digital HD where you can stream it on iTunes, Amazon, Comcast, Spectrum (formerly Time Warner), DirecTV, and AT&T.

     Rating: 2 out of 5