Frequency [Blu-ray] (2000)

Actors: Dennis Quaid, Jim Caviezel, Shawn Doyle, Elizabeth Mitchell, Andre Braugher
Directors: Gregory Hoblit
Writers: Toby Emmerich, Gregory Hoblit, Bill Carraro, Robert Shaye, Richard Saperstein, Toby Emmerich
Format: NTSC, Widescreen
Language: English
Region: All Regions
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: July 10, 2012
Run Time: 118 minutes



This 2000 time travel story has all the potential to be a bona fide science fiction classic, but somehow manages to squander its opportunities along the way . . .

One shouldn’t apply too much plot logic to any time travel stories – all those time travel paradoxes will really fry your brain as a character says in the trailer for the upcoming Looper – but Frequency really throws out all logic out the window for its action finale, which just makes no damned sense whatsoever! The filmmakers probably thought it looked cool visually even though it is patently ludicrous.

A pity. It starts off promisingly with a pre-Passion of the Christ Jim Caviezel discovering in 1999 that he can somehow communicate with his dead father (Dennis Quaid) via ham radio. Most of us just somehow deal with absent father figures, but not Hollywood movie characters. Yup, Caviezel has “daddy issues.” His father, who was a fireman, tragically died while saving someone from a burning old warehouse and Caviezel however manages to warn his father of the impending accident and thus change history in the process.

There are however unintended consequences as any sci-fi reader will tell you. Quaid’s character instead dies of lung cancer years later for instance (did Camel pay for product placement in this movie?). That, and a serial killer who were supposed to have died of doctor negligence in the hospital where Caviezel’s mum works lives on to kill more people. Soon history is being changed in real time as father and son are both attacked by a serial killer who the police knew to be a killer, but somehow still allowed to stay on as police detective because . . . aaarghhhh! See what we mean by lapses in plot logic?

THE DISC: Image transfer is pristine as one would expect. Special features include commentary by director Gregory Hoblit as well as by writer / producer / actor Toby Emmerich. There is a featurette titled “The Science & Technology Behind Frequency.” You also get four animated solar galleries, a music-only track with commentary by composer Michael Kamen plus deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer.

WORTH IT? With some minor rewrites Frequency could have been a true classic, but it squanders audience goodwill with its plot logic issues and predictability. What also counts against it are some real schmaltzy bits that will have diabetes sufferers running for their insulin shots.

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re willing to forgive Frequency’s plot issues and inconsistent storytelling then it makes an evening’s passable entertainment.

NOTE: Part of the plot involves a character regretting that he didn’t buy any shares in Yahoo. That was in 1999. I’d bet that the same character is regretting that decision today and wishing he’d invested in Google instead.



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