Best friends Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) work in New Orleans as paramedics, and find themselves called to some very bizarre and mysterious accidents that appear to be the result of a drug overdose — a new designer drug called SYNCHRONIC.
Suffering from crippling headaches that he at first chalks up to hangovers, Steve learns that he has a terminal brain tumor. Shortly after his diagnosis, the pair end up at the scene of a house party where Dennis’ oldest daughter, Brianna, disappeared after taking Synchronic. Frustrated and angry, Steve goes on a mission to buy all of the new drug so that others won’t die because of it, and shortly learns that the pill provides more than just a high; it transports its users across time.
After a series of experiments in which he lands in the middle of a swamp, gets dropped into the Ice Age, and finds himself in the Jim Crow South of the 1920s, Steve decides to use the drug to find Brianna — wherever in the past she might be. But there are SO MANY obstacles in his way, and he only has a limited number of pills, and time, to figure out where she is and how to bring her back.
Directing and Writing duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have explored the idea that time isn’t linear before, but SYNCHRONIC takes the ideas hinted at in earlier work and expands on it. One of the things I love about their stuff is that they don’t fully explain the mechanics of how things work; they just guide you through it, and let you feel it through the performances. And Mackie REALLY deliverers here; I particularly loved the sequence where he was recording his time travel adventures.
Ultimately, SYNCHRONIC is less about the mindfuck of being able to take a pill and visit the past, and more about the love and relationships you have with others; the sacrifices you make for them, and just how far you would go for the people who are important to you. Another lovely entry form Benson and Moorhead — these guys always put out amazing work that leaves you thinking about it long after the credits have rolled.
SYNCHRONIC will be screening in Seattle at AMC Alderwood 16, AMC Southcenter 16 and Cinemark Lincoln Square Cinemas on October 23