Synchronic [Fantastic Fest 2019]

September 23, 2019175 min

For many people the world is an ugly place and because of it they are often looking for an escape by any means necessary. That momentary exist from this world can come in many forms, but the most popular of course would be drugs. The question is what kind of escape are you trying to pull off and that’s going to answer what drug to use and for some, they are always trying to find the best high. Synchronic is about that, but in this case there is a little twist that propels this particular story.

Steve (Anthony Mackie) his partner (Jamie Dornan) are two paramedics in the great city of New Orleans. Their jobs have become a little more chaotic as a new designer drug is reeking havoc across their city. While they treat a number of victims, things hit hard when Steve’s partner’s step daughter goes missing and no one seems to know where she went. Steve seeing the damage this drug is causing buys a store out and is approached by a guy offering to pay triple for what seems is the last known supply. Once home Steve gets rid of the drug, but is approached by a guy who claims to be its creator and tells Steve of an extra quality this drug has. Steve tries the drug and is given the ability to time travel to a point in time at that exact location the drug was taken. The user has no control of when, but they have seven minutes at that time and location and they must be at the spot they started from to get back. After working out how it works out, Steve figures out where he needs to go to find his partner’s step-daughter as he tries to saves them both before the drug and time run out.

Synchronic is the latest film from the talented duo of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Spring) and it also is their most ambition to date. The film somehow feels much larger than their past work, but at the same time feels personal. The biggest difference is unlike their past movies when they either starred in it or had unknowns, this film they are working with actors on levels that are names most of us know. The good news is it doesn’t matter who starts in their films, as Benson’s writing is great no matter who is saying it. Mackie for his part is excellent though as this is my favorite performance by him so far.

The story has an often used troupe, but Benson keeps it fresh and draws you in with his unique take. While the story does shine, so does the direction of the film, which is led by Benson and Moorhead as they keep the beauty you have gotten used to in their films. Watching Synchronic you still feel like you are getting in on the ground floor with this duo, who together have a bright future ahead of them. So before they get there and pass you by, catch up on their work now, and you will be exposed to one of the better science fiction stories out there.

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