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'Synchronicity' Toronto After Dark Capsule Review

October 19, 2015Ben MK

If you're familiar with '80s music, you might guess that Synchronicity is a movie about the popular '80s band The Police. On the contrary, it's actually a sci-fi thriller that deals with both temporal and corporate machinations, one about a physicist named John Beale (Chad McKnight) who takes extreme measures to protect his invention.

When cutthroat venture capitalist Klaus Meisner (Michael Ironside) attempts to steal the intellectual rights to Beale's life's work, a prototype time machine he's been building with his friends (AJ Bowen and Scott Poythress), Beale takes matters into his own hands, attempting to seize back control over his own future by sending himself five days into the past. Little does he realize, however, that in doing so he may have just sealed his own fate. Now, with mere days until he succumbs to the fatal effects of temporal feedback, Beale must face a harsh realization: either he succeeds in finding a solution to the time paradox he has created, or he'll fail to exist completely.

The premise is interesting enough, and writer/director Jacob Gentry (2007's The Signal) tries admirably to make it work. Unfortunately, the film falls apart under its own weight, constantly struggling to capture the audience's attention with its nebulous narrative, straight-to-video performances, and a production design aesthetic that attempts to pay homage to Blade Runner but instead comes off more like a cheap imitation. Make no mistake, there are still plenty of good stories left to tell in the time travel genre (just look at last year's Predestination, for example). That being said, the out-of-sync Synchronicity isn't one of them.

Synchronicity received its Toronto premiere at Toronto After Dark 2015, and was preceded by the short film Nihil. For these and more titles from this year's festival, visit torontoafterdark.com.

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