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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 10.20.15] scifi thriller mystery noir



Synchronicity is a tightly-wound, time-jumping thriller that leans into its 80's influences in a BIG way. We're talking a score that's VERY Vangelis, Brutalist architecture everywhere you look and lots of light beaming in through half opened Venetian blinds. It's also got that hard-boiled, Blade Runner thing down pat. Luckily, it's also got a bit more soul than Ridley Scott's cold-hearted android opus.

If Primer is a time travel film designed by the meticulous mind of an engineer, then Jacob Gentry's Synchronicity is its more emotional distant cousin. It's about a driven physicist on the cusp of "inventing" time travel by way of a new machine he's designed that uses a particular concoction of chemicals and isotopes only available from an - we'll call them evil - corporation. While said evil corporation is angling to become a majority shareholder in his IP, he also meets a mysterious woman who may, or may not, have something to do with a rare flower that's appeared and who may also be a part of a larger time loop that's been created.


I'll be honest, I really had to concentrate to keep up with Synchronicity's various layers of corporate espionage and how they relate to flowers. The first 30 minutes, while beautifully executed and edited, are particularly loaded with exposition and set up. But once the revelation of overlapping time events occurs, things really start to pick up and Synchronicity races towards its climax.





While I would definitely lump Synchronicity in that special pool of small science fiction films that are more cerebral and smartly drawn, it doesn't quite live up to the high bar set by films like Time Crimes, Triangle, or the aforementioned Primer. But, that's fine. The film stands alone. It's doing its own thing and doing it very well. And it's a wonderful head scratcher that patient genre fans will have fun time unraveling.


While all the actors do good work here and the story is intriguing enough, Synchronicity's charm is in its production design and cinematography. It's an indie with a lot of artistry to admire. Gentry remains a filmmaker I hold in high asteem if only for delivering a film that is so different than his 2007 flick The Signal (of which we was a co-director). He's obvioulsy interested in human stories regardless of what genre he's working in and that's worth lauding.

Synchronicity is out today, January 22, 2015, on VOD and in select theatres. I highly recommend it.




Recommended Release: Dark City: Director's Cut




Follow Christopher Webster on twitter.



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Lenny (4 years ago) Reply

Nice, between what he's done and the movies you mention this cannot fail to interest me.

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mallen (4 years ago) Reply

I watched this last night and I was fascinated.

It definitely takes a page from Bladerunner, in its use of lighting, settings and music. It is quite a bit less neo-noirish than Bladerunner. But, I really liked the story and its strange timeline.

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cybe (4 years ago) Reply

Which 'Triangle' movie, there's been a few.

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Marina (4 years ago) Reply

It's this one:

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt1187064/

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quietearth (4 years ago) Reply

Like a Trimark straight to VHS film - great music - awesome flick.


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