2000-05-17 / Sports

‘Frequency’ Hits Home

Rating: 4 Baseballs

by edward j. urbanowski

"Frequency" is the most original and engrossing film of the year. It would be unfair to describe this science fiction drama as a time travel piece. The inventive and sometimes ingenious script by Toby Emmerich is actually about communication across time.

In October 1999, John Sullivan, a New York City detective finds his father’s ham radio stored and forgotten in a strongbox. On a whim he plugs it in. Through the magic of the aurora borealis very rare occurrence in Bayside, Queens, in 1969 and 1999 he picks up: his father, who is talking to him from October 1969. Using this amazing medium, John is able to warn his father of his impending death in a warehouse fire. All seems well until John and his father realize they’ve altered the future, with unforeseen consequences.

Director Gregory Hoblit directs this gripping drama with a deft hand. This material had the potential to be saccharine ("Somewhere In Time"), satiric and lightweight (any of the "Back To The Future" films) or outright comic ("Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," "Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure"). Instead he delivers a convincing thriller with nostalgic overtones. The pacing is superb and the last act packs edge-of-your-seat intensity.

The performances are excellent. Dennis Quaid has never been better. He brings sincere earnestness to the role of Frank Sullivan. Jim Caviezel is terrific as John, his long-suffering son. Elizabeth Mitchell is wonderful as Jim’s mother.

Mets fans, and I hope this readership has its share, should appreciate the plot points that are tied to the 1969 World Series.

"Frequency," like the 1969 Mets, is amazing. It packs a punch from start to finish. It is worth seeing on the big screen.

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