USA, 2019, Sci-Fi, Thriller
102 min.
Director: Justin Benson & Aaron Moorehead
Cast: Anthony Mackie (Steve), Jamie Dornan (Dennis) Ally Ioannides (Briana)

Fresh spin on time travel.

Synchronic brings something new in time travel lore. Depending on the time where you arrive, the color of your skin can determine your experience. Imagine Marty McFly returning to a small town in the United States in the 1950s being of black skin. Certainly, his opportunities for action would be much more limited, to say the least. And this is part of what the script of Justin Benson, who also directs along with Aaron Moorhead, poses. This couple has brought us to the screen unique and original stories such as The Endless (2017), Spring (2014), and Resolution (2012).

Synchronic, the new trendy drug.

Dornan and Mackie - Sycnchronic (2019)
Dornan and Mackie – Sycnchronic (2019)

We start with a couple of young people in a hotel room trying a pill. With alcohol and drugs having a good time. But after a couple of minutes, she finds herself in the middle of a jungle and he falls into the sands of a desert. Then, we got to meet our protagonists, Steve and Dennis. They are a couple of paramedics on the night watch. Dennis married with a couple of children, and Steve single and living a life of alcohol and casual partners. The two begin to tend to patients with strange wounds. And they discover that they all have something in common. They have taken the new trendy drug Synchronic.

Author’s trademark.

The story that Benson raises in his script is slow to develop, as he usually does in all his previous work, and the viewer does not know very well where the narrative is going to go. It is shortly before the middle of the film that the story reveals its path. But it is worth the patience. The effects that cause the Synchronic drug are novel and fresh. And although it raises more questions than it can answer, it is interesting to discover the possibilities the character might find.

Well done by Mackie

Anthony Mackie – Sycnchronic (2019)

Anthony Mackie gives us a compelling performance as Steve. The story revolves around him and delivers a good range of emotions and reactions to the difficult medical situation Steve is experiencing and the surprising discoveries that he makes as more he investigates Synchronic. Also, he has good chemistry with Jamie Dornan, who plays Dennis. They really seem to maintain a lifelong friendship. Ally Ioannides in her little role as Brianna does well too.

Editing stands out.

Mackie - Sycnchronic (2019)
Mackie – Sycnchronic (2019)

The special effects are economic but effective. A common situation in previous Moorehead and Benson films. What should be highlighted is the excellent editing work. Scene-to-scene transitions are varied and imaginative. They make good use of all the editing methods they are. Pivoting from the positions of actors and objects from one scene to a similar point to the next. This makes the jumps from scene to scene remarkably fluid. In other situations, they use music as the transition element. This does not make the narrative more dynamic per se.

Dangerous New Orleans.

Dornan  - Sycnchronic (2019)
Dornan – Sycnchronic (2019)

Raising the issue of race in the experience of time travel is something little-seen and very well treated in the narrative. Exploring this race situation at different points in time is an essential part of the story and it is refreshing. The film takes place in New Orleans, and the jumps in time are dependent on the geographical situation, so we visit at different times in history that same area where the city is now. These jumps have a strange tendency to go back in time, not into the future. But by a strange coincidence, it seems that each jump to the past has a high level of danger. Not because of the jump itself, if not because of the situation of each era. It is understood that to make the story more dynamic, these dangers have to be introduced, but it is not entirely convincing.

Pleaseant overall.

Sycnchronic (2019)
Sycnchronic (2019)

Synchronic gives the viewer a new vision of time travel. The editing is superb and Mackie’s performance keeps the story cohesive. Although it leaves the flavor that more juice could have been taken out from the attractive premise. But he fails to reach the levels of mystery, surprise, and freshness that Moorehead and Benson have featured in other of their productions. Sci-Fi lovers and followers of this creative duo will receive it positively despite not being one of their most solid works.

Delirium Score

A novel approach to adding race in the time travel formula. Great editing and a good performance by Mackie. Might turn off impatient viewers.

Written by Guillermo Garnica Bouchot

Music Lover, Comic Reader, Film Buff, Cat Person.