The Right Wavelength

A "Back To The Future" clone with some interesting plot devices.

Directed by Gregory Hoblit, this film is centered around a young cop John Sullivan (Jim Caviezel) who mourns his dad Frank (Dennis Quaid). Frank Sullivan, a heroic firefighter, died in a fire on October 12, 1969. Almost thirty years after his father's death, under the spectre of a brilliant aurora borealis, John starts tinkering around with his father's old ham radio. Suddenly he finds himself talking to a man who appears to be his dad from the past. Once both of them are convinced that they are indeed father and son who have somehow managed to bridge time, they start talking in earnest.

John realizes that he can prevent his dad's death by warning him beforehand. But by doing so and ensuring the survival of Frank Sullivan, other complications arise. Changing the past has meant creating a new present, but this present does not come filled with only joy. By changing the past, he has brought other factors and events into play, leading to a radically different outcome in the future.

Now John must attempt to tamper with the past again, to safeguard his family's present and future. But he must exercise caution, for every time something changes in 1969, the repercussions can be felt thirty years later...

While not exactly in the "Back To The Future" league, "Frequency" still manages to utilise a flawed albeit interesting concept and make a good movie out of it. Though one wishes that director Gregory Hoblit had concentrated less on using fancy shots and more on creating an impact in certain important scenes, the movie is reasonably well made. Tighter editing would have helped, since the film tends to drag at points. Despite this, though, the script is well written and fairly tight and as a result, "Frequency" suffers from no obvious defects.

All the characters (including the minor ones) have been fleshed out extremely well and manage to make that required thirty-year transition quite smoothly. Both Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel have enacted their roles superbly in this movie, and they make a killer combination.

With an extremely predictable and tailor-made ending, "Frequency" is a movie that offers nothing spectacular or original; however, it is still worth watching for its fine performances, and for a story that keeps you entertained and interested for the duration.

This article was first published on 03 Oct 2000.