If there ever was a good Father's Day movie for the ages, this is it.
The underlying concept is absolutely irresistible (as mind-bending as that of the now oft-cited "The Truman Show"): a freak of nature allows a son in the present (John Sullivan, played by Jim Caviezel) to talk to a father he never really knew 30 years in the past (Frank Sullivan, played wonderfully by Dennis Quaid).
Together they change the course of history, with both miraculous and tragic consequences. 'Nuff said?
Not quite. Because just when the heart-strings are tugged the hardest, "Frequency" takes a sudden turn and transforms itself from love-and-honor sap to a thrilling, pulse-pounding action mystery flick.
Suddenly there's a vicious villain (played by Shawn Doyle) on the loose, and the Sullivan family in both generations is threatened. Father and son, so soon after their touching reconnection, work together (and, of course, against the unbelieving authorities) to exact justice.
The time-shifting gimmick makes for some clever twists, and as many chuckles as gasps. Quaid, as the gruff firefighting dad, is wonderful. And the nostalgia "Frequency" stirs in Baby Boomers is thick and sweet.
There are huge leaps of logic (and some outright violations) in this film if you think about it long enough, but that's a given for any time-travel type of plot (a la "Back to the Future II"). More disappointing, perhaps, is the lack of resolution of some important plot points (John strained relationship with his girlfriend) in the rush to end with a bang-and-a-hug fairytale happy ending.
And the aforementioned sudden shift from a "Beaches"-esque father-son drama to a "Silence of the Lambs" cop thriller can be tough to take for some. Either element could have made a good film on its own, and I personally could've lived with just the drama side.
But I'm giving "Frequency" the benefit of the doubt, and figuring the mix is deliberate and a smart move. Here's a movie you can see with your dad and be both sentimental and macho at the same time.
|<<< Previous Review
Stunt (April 14, 2000)
|Next Review >>>
Mission: Impossible 2 (May 30, 2000)