Blu-ray Review: Synchronic (2019)

January 28, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Paramedic Steve (Anthony Mackie… ol’ fearless Falcon from the MCU) and his partner Dennis (Jamie Dornan) tear ass around a nocturnal New Orleans saving lives n’ shit… but soon that gig turns a bit ‘weird as all fuck’ when they begin responding to calls with ever-increasing outre elements… all of which seem to lead to the new designer drug, Synchronic.

Soon Dennis finds himself in dire straits, and Steve attempts to lend a helpin’ fucking hand… which results in him taking Synchronic himself… a fact that leads to all manner of fresh hell since a tumor on his pineal gland makes him ultra-receptive to the drug’s unique effects… but also puts a deadline on his efforts to aid his partner’s plight… emphasis on the word dead, what with that tumor biz and all…

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (who also served as the film’s cinematographer) take what could be a mean streets procedural and turn it into a psychotronic mind fuck (which should come as zero surprise if you set your eerie eyeballs on any of their previous efforts such as 2014’s Spring or 2017’s Endless) thanks to the whacked-out side effects of the eponymous substance… namely ol’ Stevie can seemingly slip back in time (sometimes countless millennia in the past), though he’s never sure where he’ll wind up.

It’s this real world gravitas mixed with some truly inspired set-pieces through the ages that make this one stand out from the usual sci-fi biz.

Speaking of standing out, this flick also presents some choice social commentary as well, as our hero (played to perfection by Mackie), an African-American finds himself in some real dicey timelines where his race can bring him nothin’ but static, dig?

Along with all that goodness listed up yonder, Well Go USA Entertainment have packed this Blu-ray release with some solid bonus material as well!

First up we get an audio commentary featuring Benson, Morehead, and producer David Lawson Jr. That provides a detailed journey through the film’s production. This is like the NPR of film commentaries as I can assure you these cats have some mellow mother fuckin’ vibes when discussing their work…

Following that comes a trio of featurettes (examining the film’s production, pre-visualization process, and a visual effects breakdown to be precise), as well as a deleted scene, and an alternate ending.

Bringing up the rear we get the film’s teaser and theatrical trailer.

With it’s focus on humanity and family, Synchronic has a bit more on it’s mind than sci-fi spills n’ chills; but dammit it’s got those too and it ain’t afraid to show ‘em off neither… which creates a one-of-a-kind picture well worth your time… get it? Time? Fuck yeah, I still got it!

 

 

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