Synchronic – R – 1 hr 41 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Saturday October 24, 2020
AMC Southcenter 16 – Tukwila, Washington
#40 new movie seen in theater in 2020
Two paramedic friends, Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) encounter various people afflicted by a designer drug called synchronic. Dennis’ daughter Brianna takes the drug and disappears.
Steve finds out he’s dying and, upon an unexpected visit from the drug’s creator, learns synchronic can allow the user to travel back in time for seven minutes. Steve buys up all the synchronic in town and searches for Brianna.
The idea is somewhat fresh, which is always appreciated. Take a drug and travel back through time based on where you take the drug at? I was thinking sort of like Sound of Thunder without the machine or radical future change consequences
Time travel stories are often convoluted and difficult to parse logic-wise. This one tries to stay away from paradoxes but viewers can’t help pondering credibly how this would work. A sci-fi story needs plausible elements with the science to be more effective. Pretty much none of that exists here. Those that can get past that will probably find this more enjoyable.
The biggest problem is the most interesting parts are when Steve takes the drug, not much that’s happening in the mundane present time. The first 45 minutes of the movie are slow and difficult to get into. Kara had to bump me a few times because I was literally starting to nod off.
The last 45 minutes are significantly better, especially as Steve learns more about how synchronic works and his search for Brianna deepens. The ending, which won’t be spoiled here, is a bit on the predictable side, but it’s handled well.
There is a non sci-fi feel to the way the film is shot. Like it’s not as dark and dreary as the story. The sound effects are good and soundtrack, although a little understated is OK. The acting is nothing special, but that could be that it’s mostly Steve doing the one man show routine. He wasn’t bad, but we don’t find ourselves rooting for him quite the way we should.
Kara and I were a bit apart on this one in our just left the theater video review (see below).
Uneven pacing is what makes this one come up short and miss being recommended. It’s a compelling idea and with better execution, particularly the first half of the movie, it could have been a good movie. Alas, as presented it comes off as somewhere between bad and mediocre. Not recommended.
Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️ (Kara)