Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Cast: Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Katie Aselton
Release Date: January 26, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
When New Orleans paramedics and longtime best friends Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) are called to a series of bizarre, gruesome accidents, they chalk it up to the mysterious new party drug found at the scene. But after Dennis’s oldest daughter suddenly disappears, Steve stumbles upon a terrifying truth about the supposed psychedelic that will challenge everything he knows about reality—and the flow of time itself.
Please Note: Well GO USA Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Synchronic’ tells the powerful tale of New Orleans paramedics and close friends Steve (Mackie) and Dennis (Dornan) who after being called to multiple scenes involving strange and unexplainable injuries or death soon discover that the events all appear to be linked to a designer drug called Synchronic. Unable to watch the carnage continue, Steve buys up the remainder of the drug in order to remove it from circulation before being confronted by the drug’s creator who had set out on a similar mission. After the man explains that the drug has the power for younger individuals to travel through time, Steve discovers that a newly discovered condition he’s suffering from allows his brain to work the way a younger man’s might. Realizing that he may have the power to save Dennis’s daughter who vanished while on Synchronic, Steve begins experimenting with the drug and documenting his travels in the hope of potentially doing some good with it.
Directed by the talented filmmaking duo of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (The Endless, Spring) from a screenplay by Benson, the pair does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘Synchronic’ guiding along this enthralling tale with care every step of the way. The film also owes its share of credit to the capable cast which includes Anthony Mackie (Avengers: Endgame), Jamie Dornan (A Private War), Katie Aselton (Bombshell), Ally Ioannides (TV’s Into The Badlands), Ramiz Monsef (TV’s Young Sheldon), Bill Oberst Jr. (3 From Hell) and more, the majority each offering solid performances in their respective roles for the most part and really helping this incredibly human sci-fi tale to work so beautifully.
‘Synchronic’ is another phenomenal piece of cinema from filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead that explores one man’s journey to find himself and deal with his unexpected medical issues by doing what he believes to be right. Taking a synthetic drug that allows him to travel back in time when the daughter of his close friend and work partner goes missing while on it, it quickly leads to an unforgettable journey filled with fear, beauty and a lot of questions. ‘Synchronic’ is certainly the biggest film that Benson and Moorhead have tackled yet and while there was never anything lacking in their previous three films, it quickly becomes clear that ‘Synchronic’ allotted them a bit more free reign in the production department with effects and scenarios that benefit beautifully from just that without ever becoming unnecessarily extravagant or losing the heart, soul and concentration on the characters which always remains the focal point of the tale. Leads Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan are also surely the biggest stars they’ve worked with it and each offer touching and relatable performances that never falter along the way. It all only helps to allow these talented filmmakers a chance to get a bit bigger and unsurprisingly they do not disappoint with the results. I would strongly encourage anyone who appreciates a cleverly constructed sci-fi drama with plenty twists, turns and heart at its core to go out of your way to give ‘Synchronic’ a whirl whenever you have the opportunity. It’s a beautiful, well-acted and unforgettable sci-fi drama that any fan of Benson and Moorhead’s previous films won’t want to even consider skipping.
Overall, ‘Synchronic’ is a marvelous film that explores the power of friendship, life and the extremes some are willing to go to for those closest to them, especially when everything else seems hopeless. Mixing in a clever use of time travel to twist things up in the wildest way possible, it all comes together into a unique and unforgettable journey that’s not to be missed. ‘Synchronic’ definitely earns one of my highest possible recommendations. It’s another marvelous piece of cinema from the filmmaking team of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead that should be well worth a couple hours of your time and the price of a rental at the absolute least for anyone already interested in the film. Diehard fans of the duo’s work shouldn’t have any regrets if dropping the money on a blind purchase of the Blu-ray release either.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Synchronic’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful as a whole and delivers a nice, sharp and richly detailed presentation from start to finish that doesn’t suffer from any notable faults or troubles along the way. It holds up beautifully even during the various darkly lit and heavily populated moments, never causing anything that’s occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation that shouldn’t have any trouble pleasing fans as well as first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack perfectly complements the film and provides a clean, crisp and frequently active audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly utilizes all five available channels at every fitting opportunity in order to send music, nature activity and plenty more throughout the various speakers, while never allowing anything to conflict or contrast with the dialogue or any other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a great 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers without issue every step of the way and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Synchronic’ includes a handful of enjoyable extras that fans of the film should appreciate. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary by Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, and Producer David Lawson Jr.’, along with a ‘Deleted Scene’ from the movie (running approximately 1 minute in length) and an ‘Alternate Ending with Introduction by Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’ (running approximately 90 seconds). We are additionally treated to some behind the scenes Featurettes and videos including a ‘Making Of’ Featurette that includes interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more (approximately 15 minutes), plus a look at ‘Previsualization’ (approximately 8 minutes) and a ‘VFX Breakdown’ (3 minutes). The film’s ‘Teaser’ (1 minute) and ‘Trailer’ (2 minutes) are also included.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead’s ‘Synchronic’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Well GO USA Entertainment
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