Synchronic would have been much, much better, had it been a crime thriller.
Paramedic buddies Steve and Dennis are unnerved after encountering a series of gruesome injuries and death at work. They also chance upon clues that suggest that the incidences are all related to Synchronic, a new designer drug. When Dennis’ teenage daughter then goes missing, Steve decides to experiment with the mysterious pill to determine what really happened.
This was a mixed bag for me. One that became quite the downhill ride in the second half too.
It started off suspenseful enough. Through a combination of mood lighting, one-shots, and abrupt gore, an unnerving ambience was established. One that reminded me of serial killer movies and television series.
And while I felt their lines could have been punchier, Mackie and Mr. Grey, I mean Jamie Dornan, did come across as everyday guys struggling with existential life issues. Struggles debilitating enough to partially blind them to the full horror of their grisly discoveries.
Sadly, and like the case of movies like Creep (2004), the tension sinks the moment the true nature of Synchronic is revealed. Apart from the clumsy explanation and the rather “huh?!?!” demonstrations, the story also shifts gears too completely and too suddenly.
From crime-horror, it’s abruptly some sort of sci-fi adventure thriller. An adventure not quite in sync with what was previously going on, all puns intended.
Add to that is the philosophical rant by Steve right before the final “jump,” one markedly reminiscent of a declaration by Obama in 2016.
Now, to be clear, I don’t disagree with the ex-POTUS. Logic-wise, I’m also unsurprised that Steve would come to that conclusion after his misadventures.
But again, it just doesn’t match the mood of the first half. To an extent, I’d even say the rant is mawkish and unnecessary. All in all, Synchronic really wasn’t what I was hoping for before entering the cinema. In all honesty, I felt it would have been way superior had it stayed a crime-thriller too.