The Reel Review

B+

After coming across a series of bizarre drug overdoses, two New Orleans paramedics, longtime friends, discover a mysterious synthetic drug that alters time and space, in this mind-bending sci-fi/thriller. When the oldest daughter of one the EMTs (Jamie Dornan) disappears, the other (Anthony Mackie) uses the drug, Synchronic, to travel back in time to try to rescue her.

Jamie Dornan and Anthony Mackie in Synchronic.

Despite a lengthy set up, and an at times meandering story, directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (The Endless) have concocted a thought-provoking and pretty fascinating premise that evolves from horror to sci-fi/thriller. Mackie (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), as the terminally-ill medic, uses the drug to travel back in time to various points in New Orleans’ natural history – among them, when it was an alligator-filled swamp explored by Spanish conquistadors, during the ice age, and during the pre-Civil War slave era. It’s a pretty trippy trip through time.

Anthony Mackie in Synchronic.

Creative camerawork, impressive visual effects and an ominous score creates a mysterious, noirish mood throughout Synchronic, helping to offset some sloppiness in the story’s execution. The result – a pretty stylish and entertaining sci-fi/thriller.

REEL FACTS

Synchronic was filmed in Anthony Mackie’s hometown of New Orleans.

Jamie Dornan and Anthony Mackie in front of horror author Anne Rice’s former house in New Orleans in Synchronic.

• At an hour and 20 minutes into the film, the main characters sit in front of the Brevard-Clapp House at 1239 First Street, which was formerly owned by horror novelist Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire, Queen of the Damned).

• Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have developed a cult following for creating mind-bending films since their respective 2012 and 2017 sci-fi/mysteries Resolution and The Endless, the latter which they also both starred in.

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