This indie sci-fi thriller starring Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan got some mixed reviews when it opened on PVOD in the UK. That said the critics who got on board seemed to champion it. It immediately went on this viewers watch list. Having rented and watched the film It’s easy to see why it’s come in for praise and criticism.
The central sci-fi idea at play within the premise is awesome. Two New Orleans paramedics (Mackie and Dornan) investigate a series of deaths and disappearances linked to a designer drug. The pill of the title will enable the taker to travel for seven minutes to a randomly generated point in the history of land they happen to be on when ingesting the drug. Super cool right. Unsurprisingly the moments where the film works best of those where it plays into the seemingly endless possibilities of its central idea. These sequences are mostly well-executed even with the knowledge that doing sci-fi on an indie budget is conceptually extremely difficult. Unfortunately, the narrative doesn’t take advantage of its possibilities nearly as often as it should. Mackie and Dornan are solid enough in the lead roles. Unfortunately, they are let down by a script that forces in a hefty dollop of needless interpersonal drama. If these elements were engaging that would be one thing but for peace that offers a fantastically original slice of sci-Fi sci-fi , in its concept everything else is as generic as they come. The sequences in which the narrative plays around with this central idea are very effective . Unfortunately, there’s not enough of them to cover for the films glaring weaknesses.
Synchronic is the sort of thing worth investing in if viewers are intrigued by the central concept. The ideas are executed effectively in sequences where they are the narrative driving force. Unfortunately, the delivery of anything beyond this comes across very poorly. The personal drama and character development are unbelievably generic This rarely holds back a slice of indie sci-fi that could have been fantastic. Instead, the piece effectively installed a ceiling of quality for itself. It never truly getting above solid. There’s enough here to recommend but considering what this film could have been this is a real shame.