Like all good stories, this one has been around the block a few times: What if you could call the past on the telephone and tell them what's going to happen.I remember seeing it as an episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE or OUTER LIMITS, where a man in the 50s gets a chance to change the past and save his father, a World War 2 soldier, because his radio suddenly tunes into the 40s. The next morning, the guy wakes up in a Nazi United States. There is also a quirky US TV series called something like TOMORROW'S EDITION where a geek gets delivered tomorrow's newspaper and then spends the day changing the headlines.
FREQUENCY is a murder mystery with a twist ... a very big twist ... time. (This isn't a spoiler.) The movie is running parallel stories exactly 30 years apart. A cosmic event creates the same atmospheric phenomena over New York, an aurora caused by sunspots, which commonly create havoc for ham radio operators. A father in 1969 and his (now) adult son in 1999 tune into each other and not only change history, but make a little history themselves.
The movie becomes not only a whodunnit, but a when he dunnit, to whom has he dunnit and how can they undo it from the past and present at the same time across 30 years. FREQUENCY is very edge of your seat stuff a couple of times, combined with a sense of wonder at the ways the fabric of time can be re-woven.
There are a few clever jokes. Rather than give his father 30 years of winning lottery numbers, the Son tells him how baseball games will come out (the dummy still doesn't place any bets). The Son does give his childhood chum a stock tip to buy the Yahoo float ... must be product placement, because I would have suggested Microsoft in 1986 or Apple in 1982 or even IBM in 1972.
This is a very good part for Dennis Quaid, who has reinvented himself here as a SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy) who is romantic, loving and able to say "I Love You" to his son. The New Yawk accents are a bit laboured at times, but they can be forgiven. I hope we see him in more roles like this. Jim Caviezel is quite a find and we will be seeing quite a bit of him in future.. edgy, handsome and a damn fine actor.FREQUENCY is a bit "Boy's Own" and somewhat testosterone driven with all of the baseball and technology, but makes a nice yarn and a pretty nice movie. I expected not to like this film from the trailers, but came out feeling very good and satisfied. The big screen does add a bit in some of the action and suspense scenes, as it did with SIXTH SENSE, but if you can wait for the video, that'll be just fine.