Friday, January 22, 2021

Synchronic Review: A Mind-Bending Time Travel Trip

Anthony Mackie	...	Steve Jamie Dornan	Jamie Dornan	...	Dennis Katie Aselton	Katie Aselton	...	Tara Ally Ioannides	Ally Ioannides	...	Brianna Ramiz Monsef	Ramiz Monsef	...	Dr. Kermani Bill Oberst Jr.	Bill Oberst Jr.	...	Hunchback Looter Betsy Holt	Betsy Holt	...	Leah Shane Brady	Shane Brady	...	Travis Kate Adair	Kate Adair	...	Crackhead Girl Matthew Underwood	Matthew Underwood	...	Officer Beaumont Carl Palmer	Carl Palmer	...	Officer Jacobs Martin Bats Bradford	Martin Bats Bradford	...	Animal Bob (as Martin Bradford) Sam Malone	Sam Malone	...	Doctor Rhonda Johnson Dents	Rhonda Johnson Dents	...	Nurse Hall (as Rhonda Dents) Sophie Howell	Sophie Howell	...	Stoner Clerk

Release date: October 23, 2020
Running time: 101 minutes
Starring: Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Katie Aselton
Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Writer: Justin Benson

Two New Orleans paramedics' lives are ripped apart after they encounter a series of horrific deaths linked to a designer drug with bizarre, otherworldly effects.

Directed by  Justin Benson	 Aaron Moorhead	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Justin Benson    Produced by  Justin Benson	...	producer Nate Bolotin	...	executive producer Thomas R. Burke	...	co-producer Lauren Craig	...	associate producer David Lawson Jr.	...	producer Michael Mendelsohn	...	producer Aaron Moorhead	...	producer Leal Naim	...	co-producer Natalie Perrotta	...	executive producer Frederick Pfaff	...	co-executive producer (as Frederick A. Pfaff) Robert Pfaff	...	co-executive producer (as Robert E. Pfaff) Scott Putman	...	line producer Nick Spicer	...	executive producer Aram Tertzakian	...	executive producer
Synchronic has a mind and time bending premise where a designer, off the shelf drug can have temporal effects.  It is a strange premise but one that leads to some very interesting science fiction scenes as people literally melt into a different time period.  And the film has an overall serious tone and gritty camera work to make this world feel dark and a little desolate.  It doesn't help that Steve (Mackie) and Dennis (Dornan) are paramedics who arrive are visiting some very run down places and tending to users of this strange synthetic drug.  The film just has this imposing weight to it that is part the subject matter of these paramedics trying to track down this drug and part the weight of time that is inherent in the story.  And this is helped along by some really powerful orchestral music that just adds to the overall tone of the film.  If you like your sci fi gritty and dark, then this movie is for you.

The film also manages to assemble a stellar cast headlined by Anthony Mackie and Jaime Dornan.  Both are fantastic as the two New Orleans paramedics and their chemistry is apparent from the first scene.  Mackie is simply phenomenal in this film, and his character has to go through a lot to try and figure out what is happening with this drug.  He is put into some inhospitable and hostile situations, and has to showcase a range of emotions for this.  Dornan is also quite good as his partner, and although he doesn't get as much screen time as Mackie, he still is able to stretch his emotional chops.

The film also has some brutal scenes and is genre bending.  It has aspects of drama, horror, and sci fi, and is reminiscent of Possessor for its dark tone and raw mentality.  And overall the time travel parts of the film are interesting, although the mechanic is a little out there.  Still, it provides the ability to visit a lot of places and also has an air of mystery as Mackie tries to uncover what is happening.  And these time travel scenes allow for some interesting CG effects that are surprisingly polished for an indie film.  

Synchronic takes you on a mind-bending time travel trip with a dark, gritty style, fantastic performances by Mackie and Dornan, and a powerful score. 

Watch it.

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Synchronic is available digitally on January 12, 2021 and on physical media January 26, 2021. 

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