Synchronic (2020)

I got a message from a friend asking about my review of Bliss. He said he was desperate for new sci-fi. Then he asked if I had ever seen Synchronic. I had never even heard of it before so I watched the trailer and it was definitely intriguing. I went over to Vudu and rented the film so give it a try.

I am really glad Chris mentioned this to me.

Synchronic started Anthony Mackie as Steve and Jamie Dornan as Dennis, two paramedics in New Orleans who respond to all sorts of troubles. There is seemingly a ton of drug related issues in the area. Close friends, Steve and Dennis have a great comradery with each other which is pushed by their individual drama within their lives.

Steve and Dennis come across a series of deaths that have been connected with a new designer drug called Synchronic. Steve, who has received some terrible news, took it upon himself to target the removal of the designer drug from New Orleans. Along the way, he discovered a surprising side effect.

As Steve is pursuing this mystery, Dennis’s family is starting to fall apart as his 18-year old daughter Brianna (Ally Ioannides) disappeared.

This was a gripping story that took elements from a family drama and a buddy movie and engaged it with this science fiction story. While the third act does stretch it a bit too far, the plot here was filled with tension and anxiousness.

I love Anthony Mackie, but to be honest, outside of the Falcon and the MCU, I have not been a huge fan of the movies that he has appeared in. His IMDB page shows him as a solid secondary character, but his lead work lacking despite his clear charm and acting ability. Synchronic is perhaps his best performance outside of the MCU to date. He has great chemistry with Jamie Dornan, who also gives a very strong performance here as the husband struggling with his family. The pairing of Mackie and Dornan is the strength of the film.

There are several disturbing images at play in Synchronic too. There is an element of horror that finds its way into the imagery, building the feeling of uneasiness that is pervasive throughout the film.

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, successful independent film directors of The Endless and Resolution (and Benson has been tapped as the director for the upcoming MCU Disney + series Moon Knight), have received probably their highest profile film to date. It certainly has the two biggest stars that they have worked with as well. There inclusion of the character aspects of the film brought it to a much higher level than many other directors may have taken it.

It is a shame that this movie did not receive as much attention as it deserved. Synchronic is a definite challenging watch and provides some creative ideas with a strong character piece.

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