Reel Reviews | Frequency

by Joe Barber

1969…1999…What if you could go back in time and change one event in your life? What would you change?

In Frequency, John Sullivan (James Caviezel) has that opportunity and he makes the best of it. Living the typical movie life of a cop (burned out, girlfriend walking out, alcoholic, need I say more) Sullivan finds himself on the anniversary of his father’s death, drunk as hell and sitting in front of an old ham radio. As luck would have it, an aurora borealis storm is occurring on this very night. Sullivan plays with the radio while remembering his childhood with his father who was a firefighter and suddenly a strange, yet familiar voice comes over the radio.

To make a long story short, Sullivan realizes he’s talking to his father Frank Sullivan (Dennis Quaid) on the day before his death in a massive fire. John sees an opportunity to change history and tells Frank how to avoid dying in the fire. What neither of them realize is that their actions will set off a chain of events that lead to the death of several women,  including John’s mother (Elizabeth Mitchell).

Both men must now figure out how to alter history and save these women without doing more damage. André Braugher (Frank Pembleton of “Homicide – Life on the Streets“) once again picks up a badge (he’s had lots of practice), but is confused by events happening to John in 1999 and Frank in 1969.

While on the surface, this movie is about a son finding his father again, it’s also a murder mystery with a twist. The twists are so many that it makes you forget about the inconsistency of the cause-effect relationships (I could give an example, but it will spoil the movie). I’m sure we’ve all been at a place in our lives where we wanted to go back in time. This movie will make you wonder how your life would be now if you could go back and make that one little change.

Grade: C-