Film Review – Synchronic (2019)

Title – Synchronic (2019)

Directors – Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (The Endless)

Cast – Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Ally Ioannides

Plot – When a new synthetic drug hits the streets of New Orleans, long term friends and paramedics Steve (Mackie) and Dennis (Dornan) begin to question the properties of the drug that appears to offer its users a chance to experience the past in vivid and potentially deadly detail.

“Present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion”

Review by Eddie on 02/02/2021

If I were to hedge my bets on directing duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead on one day delivering an outright cinematic classic, I would be feeling fairly confident of my chances on coming out on top with that particular wager.

Coming close to creating a genuine horror/sci fi romance masterpiece with the underseen Spring and getting people talking with the likes of The Endless and Resolution, Moorhead and Benson (who have recently signed on to deliver the Moon Knight TV series for Marvel) have shown a particular knack for crafting low budget affairs with high reaching concepts with their newest addition Synchronic falling very much into that category.

As is expected from a Moorhead and Benson feature, Synchronic features mind-melting ideas, snazzy visuals and a moody score and this time has the bonus of well-liked actors Anthony Mackie and Jamie “I wasn’t in 50 Shades of Grey I swear” Dornan as the Hollywood duo play New Orleans paramedics and friends Steve and Dennis, a duo caught up in a bizarre new synthetic drug craze that is seemingly bending the concepts of time and causing disastrous occurrences throughout the city.

Feeling as though it shares similar DNA to the creating teams Endless and Resolution products and also a smidgen of Spring’s visceral horror elements, Synchronic is a rather slowly paced affair for the concept it delves into and will likely cause some genre fans to be searching for their phones as the methodically paced journey of Mackie’s Steve, whose direct dealings with the designer drug causing him to go on a life altering journey to past events that can prove deadly if luck is to fall that way, takes hold.

There’s a lot happening in the films 100 or so minutes of runtime and perhaps the films greatest failure is its inability to explore each of its various themes or facets with much care or consideration, as a viewer you can’t help but ponder what may’ve been had the film managed to streamline its components in a more cohesive whole or perhaps been born into a mini-series with far more time to investigate its many intriguing elements.

As the film stands as an end product, its one that wavers between top-class independent filmmaking and frustratingly vague/unrefined collections of ideas and scenarios but there’s enough positives to be taken away from this affair that the bet in solid odds that Benson and Moorhead could just well be the next big thing in unique and original Hollywood movie making.

Final Say – 

A film with a lot going on and one that doesn’t always appear to know what to do with what it has started, Synchronic is an interesting yet not always totally engaging sci-fi experience that should be watched and enjoyed with expectations well in check.

3 dog leads out of 5 

12 responses to “Film Review – Synchronic (2019)

  1. First off, the Jamie “I wasn’t in 50 Shades of Grey I swear” Dornan got a laugh out of me.

    I checked out this movie in theaters back in October, and loved the hell out of it (even did a review of it for my blog). Both Mackie and Dornan are fantastic in it, and I dug it’s cinematography, score, and atmosphere.

    I do agree that it’s ideas could use more time to be fleshed out and explored. Still, loved the hell out of this film, and it’s gonna make an appearance on my best of the year list.

    • It’s for sure a film I am going to recommend to people I speak to.

      I love the originality and vibe it created. Did you see there other films such as Spring and The Endless? Well worth looking at if not.
      E

      • I’ll have an easier time recommending this to people over something like Possessor Uncut.

        I have not, but because of this, I definitely plan to. Benson and Moorehead proved that they have a lot of creativity and originality, and can make a lot out of a little. Gonna check out The Endless next, and I look forward to their work on Moon Knight.

      • The Endless was really interesting, I had a few issues with the film but there was some stuff in there that was just fantastic, and I really had a great time with Spring.
        I reckon once this Marvel project kicks off they could be the next big thing, similar to the Russo Brothers.
        E

  2. Yeah, that’s fair. I liked it a bit more but definitely not as strong as The Endless. However, I love their ideas and stylistics, there’s always substance beneath the visuals and – as you say – it’d be AMAZING for the duo to take the chance with a huge Hollywood-budget original outing.

    Not sure ‘what’ but then that’s what they’d love as well, surely!

    • I am a big fan of these gentlemen’s work mate. I think something really special is coming from them either very soon or in the not too distant future.
      E

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