Written by Toby Emmerich
Directed by Gregory Hoblit
I’ve been a Mets fan my whole life. When they won the World Series in 1986, the company I was working for at the time treated it like a holiday for me, that’s how big Mets fan I am. So it should come as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, which placed the 1969 World Series front and center.
The story begins in 1969 as Frank Sullivan (Dennis Quaid) is doing his job as a New York City firefighter just prior to the start of the World Series. Unbeknownst to him, he is about to die in a fire before the Series will be over.
Besides baseball, another of Frank’s loves is his ham radio. As he watches an amazing display of the northern lights, he heads inside to see who’s broadcasting.
Cut to 1999 and Frank’s son John (Jim Caviezel) is now grown up and living in his home. After watching what appears to be an equally impressive display of the northern lights, he breaks out his father’s old radio and begins fiddling with it.
Somehow they manage to broadcast to each other through time. Before Frank signs off, not believing what he is hearing, his son manages to tell him what will happen in the first game of the World Series as well as warn him that he is about to die. The cryptic Don’t follow your instincts, go the other way stays with Frank the next day as he and his firefighter buddies are watching the World Series in their firehouse. When the game folds as he is told it would, he begins to believe. He follows his son’s advice and his life is saved.
But that is only the beginning of the story. For in saving his father’s life, John Sullivan has now changed history and allowed a serial killer to live; a serial killer who will live to slay eleven women, including his mother.
John (a cop in 1999) and Frank battle through time to try and prevent the slayings and discover who the killer is. When the police in 1969 begin to look at Frank as a suspect, I really wasn’t sure how the movie would end.
I thought the story was well-rounded with a great many elements in it. It was a great father-son movie showing the love and faith they have in each other. The moments as they are tracking the serial killer are suspenseful, since I really wasn’t sure if they would end the movie on a “happy note” or have Frank Sullivan end up taking the blame. There are some decent action scenes in here as well, both of Frank fighting the fires and chasing down the killer.
One problem was Quaid’s New York accent. Being from Noo Yawk, I guess we can hear the fake ones a lot easier than some people, but Quaid seemed to be overdoing it – a lot! Northern lights are also usually seen most prominently in August, not October. Another problem was that at times as the story changed, it became confusing to follow exactly what was going on.
Still, it is a really good movie, one that I thought should’ve garnered more attention and better reviews than I remember it getting.