Written by David Hudson
Something of a personally-driven project for co-producer Harrison Ford after he read the Pulitzer Prize-winning book upon which this true-ish movie is based, Extraordinary Measures is about the quest to find a cure for the fatal neurological disorder Pompe Disease.
Pharmaceuticals executive John Crowley (played here by Brendan Fraser) is flying high in his career, but his and his wifeâ€™s lives are turned upside down by the fact that his two younger children are afflicted by this rare genetic disorder, which normally results in death before the age of ten. He leaves his job and starts up his own drug company in partnership with a maverick researcher, Dr Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford) â€“Â who has plenty of theories but has never actually brought a drug to the market before. Heâ€™s a scientific genius but makes for a belligerent and challenging business partner. Director Tom Vaughanâ€™s film (What Happens In Vegas, Starter For Ten) follows the duoâ€™ trials and tribulations as they desperately race to produce an effective medicine in time to save Crowleyâ€™s children.
Itâ€™s an inspiring tale, and it would be impossible for Crowleyâ€™s plight not to tug at the heartstrings, and Extraordinary Measures duly does soâ€¦ a little bit. Itâ€™s difficult to precisely say why it doesnâ€™t engage at a deeper level than one might expect. Perhaps events and characters have been condensed too simplistically in order to tell the tale, or perhaps Fraser (whose seems to be morphing into Tom Arnold) lacks finesse in a difficult role. The end result, like the equations that Ford is constantly scribbling on whiteboards, is laboriously formulaic. In purely cinematic terms, when compared with Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon in the superior Lorenzoâ€™s Oil, this has more the feel of a made-for-TV weepie. One that probably wonâ€™t even make you weep.
Last edited: 20th June 2010
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