That CBS Films has released Tom Vaughn’s Extraordinary Measures should tell you everything. The movie is nothing more than a tarted up Movie of the Week. You know the type — incurable, imminently fatal disease pops up, but thankfully, and inspirationally, the film manages to find a cure and warm the hearts of the audience in between ShamWow commercials. It’s more of the same in the case of Extraordinary Measures, as Brendan Fraser plays John Crowley, a doting father with not one, but two kids (Meredith Droeger and Diego Vasquez) with a rare form of muscular dystrophy that doesn’t give either much time to live. With time running out, John’s forced to go after maverick scientist Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford), who has a theoretical, yet unproven, cure for John’s kids. Heartstrings are tugged, tear ducts are assaulted, and no cliché goes unabused. And at this stage of his career, of course Harrison Ford isn’t going to pass up the chance to shout every line possible. When Al Pacino does this kind of thing, it’s entertaining; when Ford tries to get all showy, it’s more like he’s hungover and there are darned kids on his lawn. It’s Serious Acting 101, and since Ford’s never had the personality or charisma to pull this kind of thing off, the movie certainly isn’t better for it.
Director: Tom Vaughan
Writer: Robert Nelson Jacobs and Geeta Anand
Producer: Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher and Carla Santos Shamberg
Cast: Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser, Keri Russell, Courtney B. Vance, Dee Wallace, Jared Harris, Patrick Bauchau, Lily Mariye, Jeanine Jackson and Robert Blanche