Before diving into 2019’s Synchronic, there’s one piece of information you should know.
It’s not that it’s a low-budget sci-fi film with an intriguing premise. It’s not that it stars Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan as best friends. It’s not that its directors directed a couple of episodes of Marvel’s.
It’s that Synchronic will really, really annoy you with its plot holes and inconsistencies and nonsensical time travel mechanics that loop around in your head until a miraculous counterargument emerges from the haze and convinces you that everything makes sense after all.
Surprisingly, this is a recommendation to watch Synchronic. A frustrating, divisive, dark indie gem with flashes of brilliance. It’s yet another taste of the exciting talent of directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (check out 2017’s The Endless for a twisted horror flavor). Just lean into the anger Synchronic inspires, and eventually — on the other side — you’ll have a rewarding experience.
Mackie and Dornan play Steve and Dennis, two remarkably laid-back paramedics working in New Orleans. They’re called out to treat a series of people who’re spouting incoherent stories after taking a drug called Synchronic.
Steve and Dennis investigate the drug’s origins and impossible time travel capabilities, while also dealing with their crumbling personal lives. Steve is a jaded ladies man, and Dennis is stuck in a dysfunctional marriage.
The best parts of Synchronic involve the actual sci-fi element itself. The discovery. Steve and Dennis walking along a dark road in the middle of the night, chatting away about their normal lives, until they enter a house and discover a shocking scene out of a horror movie, where someone’s been stabbed and a medieval sword is inexplicably sticking