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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Synchronicity movie review: wormhole of the heart

Synchronicity red light

If you could slap a dudebro fedora on Blade Runner, you’d get this ridiculous attempt at a mind-blowing sci-fi drama. Pretentious yet accidental silly.
I’m “biast” (pro): big science fiction geek

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

If you could slap a fedora on Blade Runner — not a cool Indiana Jones sort of fedora, but the sort of fedora that has come to be a signpost of clueless dorky misappropriation of style and attitude — you’d get Synchronicity. A completely ridiculous attempt at a mind-blowing science-fiction drama, this amalgamation of pretentious yet accidental silliness gives us physicist Jim Beale (Chad McKnight), who is, like, a super genius, totally for real, but also put-upon and misunderstood. Because of course he is. Still, someone compares him to Nikola Tesla, he’s that awesome. And he’s just built a wormhole generator, and it probably even works, except his venture-capitalist backer, Klaus Meisner (Michael Ironside: Extraterrestrial) — and why not just hang a sign on the guy that reads “evil asshole” with a name like that — is being a total jerk about the whole thing. And Meisner’s mistress, Abby (Brianne Davis), is in fact so totally hot for Jim that she has even written fan fiction about him (I am not making that up; it’s a thing in the movie)… but still, she has probably been sent by Meisner to mess with him and steal his ideas, because women, amirite? Actual lines of dialogue spoken by Jim: “I should have know that someone as intelligent and beautiful as you, there had to be a catch” and “You must have had ulterior motives to fuck me like you did.” Things and people may or may not go through the wormhole; what happens next is like Primer lite. Very lite. It’s as if writer-director Jacob Gentry took the “it’s a time machine, Napoleon, he bought it online” scene from Napoleon Dynamite and tried to make it Serious, Meaningful, and even Tragic. Gentry gets his dudebro geek freak on even more by aping the look and feel of Blade Runner, all futuristic urban noirscape, as well as the sound: Ben Lovett’s (The Reconstruction of William Zero) score is more than a little Vangelis-esque. It’s all almost the most gloriously laughable bullshit I’ve ever seen.

red light 1 star

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Synchronicity (2016)
US/Can release: Jan 22 2016 (VOD same day)

MPAA: rated R for language including some sexual references

viewed on my iPad

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.

  • Danielm80

    If Tom Hiddleston’s character from Crimson Peak wrote a science-fiction novel, it would be exactly like this.

  • Patrick

    MaryAnn, “Predestination” with Ethan Hawke is more worthy of your time than this. (Even if you don’t review it). It’s my pick for best SF movie of the decade.

  • I still haven’t seen that one!

  • Jurgan

    Of course they’d reference Tesla and not any other genius, because Tesla has reached meme status and his name will make it seem more “legit” to fanboys.

  • RogerBW

    There’s never any need to hang a sign on Michael Ironside saying “this character is evil”. He just does it with body language.

    The Machine was pretty heavy-handed about the Blade Runner visuals and music too, but that doesn’t seem to have crew in common with this. Maybe it’s a trend.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Meanwhile, as MaryAnn left the movie theatre, something crawled from the slime of a dark Scottish lake…

    And later that night, as she finally arrived home, she felt a headache upstairs that made her eyeballs ache…

  • John Henry

    I definitely love this review. So perfectly sums up the bizarre yet glib piece of vapid nonsense

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