In Brief: ‘Frequency’ and ‘The Big Kahuna’

In Frequency, Jim Caviezel is a Queens cop who ends up communicating, courtesy of an old ham radio and a rip in the space-time fabric, with his firefighter father (Dennis Quaid), who perished in a 1969 blaze. It’s a good thing the radio is a ham, because all the actors are, too. So is the story. I’m all in favor of astrophysicists trying to get the lowdown on superstrings and the theory-of-everything, but I wonder if it’s all worth it if the result is something like Frequency, which has so little faith in its Twilight Zone-ish yarn that it resorts to a pulpy serial-killer subplot to juice the mumbo-jumbo. Also, the film’s overreliance on nostalgia for the World Champion ‘69 Mets seems a bit misplaced since the 2000 team is looking even better… . Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, and Peter Pacinelli play industrial-lubricant salesmen holed up in a dingy hospitality suite in Wichita in The Big Kahuna, directed by John Swanbeck and based on a play by Roger Rueff. In the beginning, their jabber is about life, but soon the subject is Life. I realize we live in a free-market economy, but maybe it’s time for American playwrights to give the salesman metaphor a rest.

In Brief: ‘Frequency’ and ‘The Big Kahuna’