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Frequency

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

What if you could reach back in time? What if you could change the past? What if it changed everything?

What if you had the chance to travel back in time and change just one event in your life? What would it be?

For John Sullivan (Jim Caviezel), there is no question. He would undo the events of 12 October 1969, when the out-of-control Bruxton fire took the life of his father, a heroic fire-fighter. Ever since he was a kid, John has dreamed of being able to stop the tragedy of that fateful day, which set into motion the anger and loneliness that have haunted his adult life as a cop in the 1990s. Now John may get exactly what he wished for... and much more than he bargained for.

In the mind-bending thriller Frequency, director Gregory Hoblit presents a fresh and original take on time travel with the gripping human story of a father and a son who reach out to one another across parallel universes to stop a terrible crime. Science fiction, mystery and a poignant story of family connection blend together in a tale about the entwining of past, present and future.

One day before the anniversary of his father's death, in the midst of the spectacular sky storm known as the aurora borealis, John Sullivan discovers in the house he inherited his father's old ham radio and begins to play with it. Through the electrical static, he finds himself talking to a man who claims to be a fire-fighter and who appears to be awaiting the world series of 1969. Is John really talking to his own living father on the very same day, in the very same house, but exactly three decades ago?

At first neither can believe it, but soon John is carrying on an all night conversation with his young father (Dennis Quaid), sharing for the first time his deep love and regret over his future death. Yet John realises that now he might be able to change all that. by alerting Frank to the mistake that cost him his life the first time around, John saves his youthful father from dying in the Bruxton fire.

On 12 October 1999, John Sullivan discovers that he now has photographs on his walls of his father as a grey-haired man. By changing the past, the Sullivans have forged a new present. John is ecstatic with his new memories of his father - until he discovers other things have been altered. Subtle changes caused by his father's survival have led to a string of unsolved serial homicides, including the grisly murder of John's mother.

Now, Frank and John must race against the clock - divided by three decades and connected only by a radio - to prevent a murder that will seal their destinies. And each time Frank changes something in his universe, John wakes up to a whole new reality.

Based on the new science of multiverses, Frequency is about a father and son who just need time to set things right.

Persons of interest

  • Dennis Quaid .... Frank Sullivan
  • James Caviezel .... John Sullivan
  • Shawn Doyle .... Jack Shepard
  • Elizabeth Mitchell .... Julia "Jules" Sullivan
  • Andre Braugher .... Satch DeLeon
  • Noah Emmerich .... Gordo Hersch
  • Melissa Errico .... Samantha Thomas
  • Daniel Henson .... Johnny Sullivan (6 Years)
  • Jordan Bridges .... Graham "Gib" Gibson
  • Stephen Joffe .... Gordo Hersch (8 Years)
  • Jack McCormack .... Commander Butch O'Connell
  • Peter MacNeill .... Butch Foster
  • Michael Cera .... Gordy Jr (10 Years)
  • Marin Hinkle .... Sissy Clark
  • Richard Sali .... Chuck Hayes
  • Nesbitt Blaisdell .... Fred Shepard
  • Joan Heney .... Laura Shepard
  • Toby Emmerich .... Screenwriter
  • Gregory Hoblit .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Frequency is the result of a scriptwriter sitting around in a doctor's waiting room reading old copies of Scientific American. Obviously Toby Emmerich read some technobabble, picked up the science underneath it and created a story about fathers and sons.

"But is it a good story or a bad story?" you ask.

"Well, it's not too shabby at all," I reply.

The best part of Frequency is Jim Caviezel's performance. It is everything it needs to be and more; if this weren't a science fiction film he would be up for awards. (FYI: science fiction is the Cinderella of filmmaking, people ignore any SF film's accomplishments in favour of celebrating the special effects, which are almost non-existent in Frequency). Dennis Quaid is great in the supporting parental role: he is the warm, fuzzy daddy of adult reminiscence and the big, strong father of childhood. He backs up Jim's millennial grown-up perfectly. Don't be fooled by the billing: this is Jim's film from start to finish (he just doesn't have enough box office clout yet).

The peculiar mix of serial killer and cop thriller, father and son drama and futuristic sci-fi flick works despite my automatic suspicion of any film containing more than one genre. Toby has done one hell of a job tying all the themes together and creating a story worth seeing. The continual changing of the past by John and Frank allows you to see what would've happend if things were just a little bit different. Unlike the recently released DVD Goodbye lover, where new information is constantly being added to prop up an incomplete script, each temporal alteration in Frequency results in a remix of the same information. You get to see the ongoing results of decisions made. Note that this is not a Sliding doors either/or situation but a complex weaving of several interacting storylines. Each change in the past results in a darker and dirtier journey to the future. Ultimately, both John and Frank are confronted by the harsh results of their meddling. That's a good thing.

It doesn't matter whether you like thrillers, dramas or science fiction, whichever you're into, Frequency will satisfy your desires. It's not a guy movie, it's not a chick flick, it's just a good film.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Picture: Widescreen
  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1/2.0 surround sound
  • Trailer: Theatrical
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Subtitles: English
  • Deleted scenes
  • The science behind "Frequency" documentary
  • Conceptual and solar galleries with multi-angle viewing options
  • Commentary: Gregory Hoblit

Security censorship classification

M (Low level violence)

Surveillance time

114 minutes (1:54 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD retail: 8 August 2001

Cinema surveillance images

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