Directed by: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead | 97 minutes | drama, science fiction | Actors: Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Katie Aselton, Ally Ioannides, Ramiz Monsef, Bill Oberst Jr., Betsy Holt, Shane Brady
Creativity is a great asset. Especially in Hollywood. While the majority of the movies that appear in the cinema or for home viewers consist of variations on a theme, every now and then a special movie pops up that stands out from the rest. ‘Synchronic’ is such a production. This Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead movie is original and complicated. The latter is not a problem in itself, but in this case it works against the film. The duo of directors takes on too much and that has resulted in an unnecessarily muddled, yet entertaining film.
‘Synchronic’ revolves around ambulance crews Dennis and Steve who work in New Orleans. This impoverished city is overrun with drug problems. The narcotics that are widely used are legal because their designer follows the law. Dennis and Steve see what the new designer drug is doing. Little is known about the drug, which causes very strange effects in users and leads to deaths. The friendship between the two gentlemen and the lives of their family are also affected by the drug.
It is thanks to the special special effects and the strong acting of Jamie Dornan and Anthony Mackie that this film is so enjoyable. Mackie, in particular, is on a roll. The story is complex and deals with various themes such as drug use, racism, relationships and terminal illnesses. All these topics are touched on rather quickly so that they never really stick. The two protagonists keep you on your toes. Dornan proves to be a charming actor who can do more than play a stiff-necked businessman in the ’50 Shades’ series.
‘Synchronic’ also aims to be an exciting film about time travel. Because of the many themes in the film one loses focus. What remains is an interesting film that could have made a real impact with more structure.