Synchronic is a Visually Captivating Sci Fi Film Let Down by Mackie’s Bland Performance

Alice Oscura, Featured Writer

Plot: Steve Denube (MCU’s Anthony Mackie) and Dennis Dannelly (Jamie Dornan of the Fifty Shades Trilogy) are best friends and New Orleans paramedics. While on a late shift they are called out to respond to some bizarre cases, and the only thing connecting the dots is the appearance of a strange, newly-engineered drug called Synchronic that seems to leave its victims either incoherent or dead via some extreme circumstance.

Review: One-note Anthony Mackie stars in this trippy, Sci Fi about a pill that allows time travel. Yep folks, time travel. Mackie’s Denube seems to have a laid-back partying lifestyle which is the polar opposite of his best friend and partner Dannelly. However, he is soon forced to slow down when he is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Nothing gets you to take stock of where you are headed in life than the big C.

Hello Darkness my old friend…

The main theme of the film seems to be facing the reality of what life is in the present. Of course, the film uses time travel and terminal illness to bring this point home. Mackie’s performance is pretty much the same in most of his movies, and unfortunately so. He is quite unsuccessful in diversifying his emotional range in his films and can come across as extremely bland.

Mackie’s character Steve is forced to recognise that he has formed no meaningful relationships in his life in order to create a family like his friend Dennis has managed to do. Even though Dennis seems to consistently complain about his marriage, Steve harbours the desire to have his own family unit. When the drug Synchronic bursts unto the scene Dennis’ daughter Brianna (Ally Ioannides) mysteriously goes missing after taking it. This is where things get interesting and the Steve sees an opening for a redemption of sorts.

STEVE: Can you smell that? DENNIS: You mean the dog taking a poop under the cotton candy machine?

The special effects and blast-from-the-past sequences are out of this world and captivating. And it forces the audience to realise that we are so lucky to be living in the present. Back in the day it seemed as though people had less tolerances in addition to being super suspicious and racist. Not to mention if you travel way, way back in time you would probably have to camp outside in uncivilised nature, exposed to the elements and dangerous predatorial creatures. Makes you darn happy to have a roof over your head and a warm, cozy bed to sleep in, huh?

As science fiction goes Synchronic is definitely not a bad effort, and I can imagine that in the hands of a better lead actor the film would have had a more emotional impact, which I believe was the main intention. While the plot does have its flaws, it is neatly wrapped up, providing you were paying attention. In the end the film’s most important lessons is to be grateful for what you have, and that you can almost always get a second chance to fix something that is broken if you look hard enough.

Alice’s Score: 6 out of 10

For more Anthony Mackie Sci Fi action you can check out Editor Jules’s review of Outside the Wire here and Senior Writer Sommer’s review of Altered Carbon Season 2 here.

39AFB96D-4DEF-4DED-8DFE-3400E758CE9B Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump. I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook where you’ll get my reviews hot off the press. You can also find me on Instagram as alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For my extended bio you can click here.

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