ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BOB WADE
“Frequency.” Rated: PG-13. I give it a 4 on a scale of 5.
Is it a story about time travel? Not really. Is it a science fiction tale about strange atmospheric phenomena? Kind of. Is it a heartwarming tale of the bond between a father and son? More or less. Is “Frequency” worth a look?
I warmed up to this movie slowly. The plot is complicated, and it takes a while to get untracked.
A young-at-heart fireman named Frank Sullivan makes a wrong turn in a burning building and loses his life. His son, John, has never been able to get over the loss. The one ray of light in his mostly dismal existence is Julia, his mother.
Though a successful police officer, John can’t seem to get his life together. Then, at the height of an extraordinary display of the Northern Lights, he (Jim Caviezel) fires up the old ham radio his father (Dennis Quaid) used to play around with 30 years earlier.
Through some miracle of mutated Mother Nature, John makes contact with his dad across the span of time on the eve of the fireman’s death. The younger Sullivan manages to convince his father to turn the other way, to go against his instincts, and thus saves Frank’s life.
But, as anyone who has witnessed the “Back to the Future” series would be quick to note, a guy shouldn’t mess with the past. It could have adverse effects on the present. In this case, John gets his father back, but loses his mother in the process.
I don’t want to give too much of the plot away and spoil the ending, but basically the father and son team up across the 30 years in an effort to stop the murder of Julia (Elizabeth Mitchell) before it can happen.
Ironically, the night Frank escapes his untimely death, he stops by the hospital where his wife works. Because he is still alive, Julia is still working and detects a medication mixup that would have done in the serial killer who eventually murders her.
Remember, I said the plot was a bit of a stretch at times. The whole concept makes for some interesting viewing, however.
At one point, John needs to send his father’s wallet to the lab for fingerprint analysis. Frank simply places the item in a hiding place in 1969, and then tells his son where it is located. John walks across the room in 1999 and retrieves the wallet.
Granted, a viewer needs to suspend belief and just go with the flow for “Frequency” to work. But, I found the acting to be good enough and the plot twists to be strong enough to carry the story along with plenty of energy.
The film contains some fairly graphic violence, but overall, its PG-13 rating easily covers everything the movie contains. Nudity and language are not problem areas. The length is a bit cumbersome at 118 minutes. Most of the first half is spent setting up the second half.
Even though much of what happens in this movie is predictable, the ending is worth hanging around for. Watch it with your dad, and you will want to give him a big hug afterward.
Bob Wade is a local video enthusiast. The videos he reviews come courtesy of Radio Shack/Quick Flick, 110 N. Main, Hillsboro.