- 1 hr 27 min
Wavelength is a science fiction film that was released in 1983, directed by Mike Gray and starring Robert Carradine, Cherie Currie, and Keenan Wynn. The movie unfolds as a unique mix between a thriller and an alien encounter narrative, with an atmospheric backdrop that provides an intriguing blend of drama and speculative intrigue. The film follows the journey of Bobby Sinclair, played by Robert Carradine, an aspiring musician living in Los Angeles who stumbles upon a top-secret government operation that is shrouded in mystery. Bobby is portrayed as an everyman character, someone relatable and not particularly remarkable in the grand scheme of things, but he finds himself pulled into a situation that is far beyond his normal scope of experience. His life takes a turn for the extraordinary when he inadvertently uncovers a covert operation involving extraterrestrial beings.
Channeling the punk rock spirit of the 1980s, Bobby’s girlfriend, Iris Longacre, portrayed by Cherie Currie, joins him in the adventure. Iris is a strong-willed and passionate individual, contributing not only to the relationship dynamics but also significantly shaping the unfolding events. Her character adds depth and energy to the narrative, providing a compelling female perspective to the story.
Keenan Wynn assumes the role of Dan, a mysterious figure who has his own connection to the events that revolve around the secret project. His character adds an additional layer to the plot, aligning the different storylines in a way that guides the audience through the maze of government secrets and alien encounters.
The central narrative of Wavelength involves a secret military base where something extraordinary and otherworldly is hidden—a group of aliens held captive after their spacecraft crashed on Earth. The government has kept this discovery under tight wraps, hoping to exploit the aliens for their own ends. However, the extraterrestrials are desperate to return to their home, setting the stage for an emotionally charged tug-of-war between the innate desire for freedom and the cold, calculating intentions of secretive government operatives.
As Bobby and Iris delve deeper into the conspiracy, they begin to realize the gravity of their situation. They become increasingly entangled with the fate of these visitors from another world and decide that they must help these beings in any way they can. The tension rises as the couple engages in a precarious game of cat and mouse with the government agents, who are bent on keeping their operations concealed from the public eye at all costs.
The setting for Wavelength is quintessentially 1980s Los Angeles, complete with the grit, neon, and cultural chaos that defined the era. The atmospheric cinematography captures the essence of the city during this time, along with the sense of rampant paranoia and conspiracy that often accompanied Cold War America. The film is infused with a synth-heavy score typical of the period, which not only amplifies the emotions conveyed by the characters but also establishes a hauntingly tense mood perfect for the film’s themes of discovery, captivity, and the quest for liberation.
As the film progresses, the lives of Bobby and Iris are changed irrevocably by their close encounters with forces beyond their comprehension. They must confront not only the officials who are determined to silence them but also their own personal beliefs and values as they grapple with the moral implications of the existence of extraterrestrial life. The audience watches as the couple moves from being mere witnesses to active participants in a story much larger than themselves.
The movie Wavelength isn’t just a simple tale of aliens on Earth; it touches on more profound questions about humanity, freedom, and the right to self-determination. As the characters attempt to navigate between right and wrong, they ultimately cast light on the human condition and our place in the vast cosmos. The film serves as a commentary on the era's political climate, echoing the mistrust in governmental authority and the burgeoning punk rock ethos of individualism and resistance.
Though not as well-known as some of the blockbuster science fiction films of its time, Wavelength attained a cult following for its unique blend of genuine human drama and alien lore. This is a film that will appeal to fans of the genre who are looking for a movie experience that captivates with sincerity and adventure, grounded in a world that is, paradoxically, both familiar and utterly strange.
Wavelength is a 1983 science fiction movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.6.