Stars: Dennis Quaid, James Caviezel
This sci-fi thriller about a man who speaks with his father 30 years in the past via a short-wave radio is good filmmaking all around. The story is clever and wildly imaginative; the acting is superb.
The setting is a Queens suburb of New York City in 1969 and 1999 when an unusual Aurora Borealis dances in the sky.
Frank Sullivan (Dennis Quaid) is a heroic firefighter, who in 1969, lives with his wife Julia (Elizabeth Mitchell) and beloved 6 year old son Johnny. Frank is devoted to his family, spending lots of time with Johnny, teaching him baseball and how to ride his bike. In his spare time, he’s a ham radio fanatic.
Jump to thirty years into the future when the lights dancing over the city reappear. We meet John Sullivan (James Caviezel), a cop who comes upon an old short-wave radio in a closet. Shortly after starting it up, a voice comes over the radio and what we get is an extraordinarily touching father-son reunion, unlike anything ever seen in films before. Frank, who in John’s reality, died in a warehouse fire many years ago, gets a longer life, albeit a more complicated one, when John begins to manipulate past events. What John doesn’t realize is that one change in the past automatically affects the future and pretty soon John and Frank are both trying to play catch up, to fix the dominoes from toppling and changing lives. Tension builds measurably when the story becomes a murder mystery with both men trying to solve a serial killer’s 30-year long spree.
Lotta says: It’s an intriguing premise, one that’s supremely well done thanks to the director, screenwriter and the editor. Frequency is on the right wavelength!