Here we go again: “Synchronic” is yet another 2020 time travel movie. Unfortunately, it’s not a good one. Directors Justin Benson (who also penned it) and Aaron Moorhead needed a “Total Rewrite”.
The set-up is fairly tolerable. Following a bizarre but memorable open, we meet New Orleans paramedics Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan). They’re called to treat several OD victims who’ve all taken a mysterious drug called Synchronic. It’s a pill with destructive powers. As the story progresses, we learn exactly what happens when you take it.
When Benson and Moorhead start playing with logic, time and the sequential order of scenes, “Synchronic” starts to quickly lose steam, and this erratic train doesn’t stop. I’m fine with suddenly being taken out of reality as long as it all makes sense. In this case, it doesn’t.
The role of Steve is a bit calmer than the high energy, uptight characters Mackie normally plays, but it doesn’t provide the opportunity for him to do much with it. Dornan’s Dennis mainly complains about his wife and his life, and these scenes going on for way too long. Random subplots get dropped, minor elements are clumsy. By the end (which feels “mightier than thou”), the film isn’t able to justify its own existence.
“Synchronic” is being released in select indoor theaters nationwide. Both Benson and Moorhead have publicly stated they don’t want people to see their movie at an indoor multiplex due to COVID concerns. That reasoning, while maybe sincere, isn’t necessary. People shouldn’t see this movie because it just isn’t very good.