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Extraordinary Measures movie poster

Extraordinary Measures: Movie Review

Genre: Drama
Rated: PG
Directed by: Tom Vaughan
Starring: Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser, Keri Russell, Courtney B. Vance, Meredith Droeger, Diego Velazquez, Sam Hall
Released by: CBS Films

In Short: Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser make us believe in miracles in this based-on-fact family film.

Celebrating the Power of Paternal Love

f “Extraordinary Measures” had been the work of screenwriter who just made up the story, you would scoff and say, “Only in Hollywood dreams would that plot happen.” But when the story is true, it changes the paradigm. That’s the case with “Extraordinary Measures,” starring Harrison Ford as a curmudgeonly scientific genius who is the hope of John Crowley (Brendan Fraser), a Harvard Business School graduate who works for biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers, and also happens to have two children afflicted with a rare disabling disease.

The genetic illness is called Pompe disease, and it affects children from birth, usually killing them by the time they are eight or nine years old. As the movie begins, Crowley’s kids are six and eight, and he is desperate to find a drug that will prolong their lives. Enter Ford as Dr. Stonehill (not the real doctor’s name) and a cantankerous relationship ensues, as Crowley fights to bring Stonehill’s revolutionary ideas on treatment to fruition before his children succumb to the disease.

Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser in Extraordinary Measures Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford in Extraordinary Measures

Combining believable acting—although, after meeting Harrison Ford numerous times over the years, he seems to be actually playing himself in this ill-tempered role—and a story that ultimately does not disappoint, this is a film that will make you feel as if anything in this world is possible, as long as you work hard enough and believe strongly enough in what you are striving to accomplish.

The movie is also able to avoid the typical sappiness of a made-for-television movie; perhaps because it has such high-powered actors in the leading roles. It is certainly a movie that will make parents cry, and immediately go and hug their kids as soon as the lights come up.

(Updated 04/25/12 NW)

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