Frequency (2000)

Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 7:27 PM | Posted in

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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 7/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 10/10 (Full Score)

FREQUENCY (2000) - Gregory Hoblit

What if you could reach back in time and change the past? What if the only way to stop a murderer is a father who's been dead for 30 years? What if the future is listening?

Of all the passionate and touching father-son films that include October Sky and even The Pursuit of Happyness, one has been hidden under the rocks -- a tiny masterpiece that holds astounding performances, heartfelt themes, and a science-fiction twist to the action. From the director of the 1996 courtroom thriller Primal Fear, comes one of the greatest modern science fiction films ever made.

Frequency follows John Francis Sullivan (Jim Caviezel), a homicide detective who is traumatized over the death of his fireman father Frank (Dennis Quaid). Living in the same house where he grew up, John discovers his father's old ham radio and attempts to transmit something through, only to find himself making contact with his father exactly 30 years in the past, the day before his death in a warehouse fire. After successfully preventing his father's death, John soons discovers that he has created a new alternate timeline, one in which a notorious serial killer remains alive when he was supposed to be dead.

Too confusing? Try this: A cop in 1999 finds out he can talk to his father in 1969, even when the father died when the man was six years old. In 1999, the serial killer has killed only three victims before dying. After saving his father's life and altering the 1969 timeline, the cop discovers that the killer has now killed ten victims and is still alive.

Even for a 2000 film, Frequency is certainly a small film, with a budget of only $22 million. Believe me, the film deserves much more attention from audiences today. Without a doubt, the film pulls on our belief suspenders on the time traveling aspect. Halfway into the film, father and son begin to help each other alter their timelines even when they are 30 years apart. In the screenwriting department, the film suffers from a lot of paradoxes that can blow up your head. In a way, the movie can get a bit confusing too, which is why the film is one of those entries where you get the most out of it by watching it more than once. But that's not the point of Frequency. The entire crux is a father-son relationship.

Caviezel and Quaid's chemistry are extremely heartfelt and tender to watch, even when they are existing at two different spaces of time. Thankfully, Director Hoblit uses skillful fade-in techniques in which both father and son appear to be in the room together, creating the illusion that the pair are really there for each other. In this critic's opinion, Frequency is both Caviezel and Quaid's best performances to this day. Though they are not Oscar-worthy, they are genuine enough to make you care for the characters, their motivations, and their goals. With the help of editing and writing, the film slows down during simple conversations, paces up during intense chases, and takes the time to admire the Sullivan family. In fact, some of the best scenes in the movie are small scenes where father and son talk about the baseball league results, about the Amazing Mets. Surely, Frequency is an amazing work to be viewed by a family, especially if the audience itself has a father-son connection. For the really sentimental audience members that I would call "family men," who cherish their close ones and cherish their lives, then the film might even tug your heartstrings at the end.

In conclusion, Frequency is the best film of 2000, for it appears fresh and exquisite no matter how many times I rewatch it. The acting is sincere, the thrills are organic, and the entire piece paces consistently with a uniform tone. Hoblit handles and executes his quiet masterpiece with much precision and passion, centering around a young man who never got to truly know his father. Here, the filmmakers took a little bit of everything in the science fiction genre and combined it into an impressive hybrid. Think of a film that has the time traveling aspects of Back to the Future, the mystery of CSI, the thrills of Sixth Sense, and the emotional power of Ghost and October Sky: The result is Frequency.

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