“EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES” (Brendan Fraser, Harrison Ford & Keri Russell)
In the early scenes this film has all the trappings of a mediocre ‘Lifetime Channel Movie Of The Week’ production – the dialogue is lame, the attempts at humor fail miserably (Married couple John & Aileen Crowley are ‘caught’ kissing by their children’s day nurse & John’s pants fall down – Tee hee hee!)
Just as I said ‘Brothers’ worked because the child actors were expertly directed, the children here are not. In fact, the movie doesn’t build any momentum until the sarcastic sickly girl & her depressing little brother are out of the picture.
Brendan Fraser is the star of the film as John Crowley, father of 3 children, the younger two afflicted with Pompe’s disease. The life expectancy of an average patient is 9 – the film opens with daughter Megan’s 8th birthday party.
Keri Russell is the ‘mom’ &, as with almost every film she’s been in, she doesn’t do much more than look on with that hokey ‘pained look’ in her eyes.
It IS rather pathetic when the best actor in your movie is Harrison Ford, but he clearly outshines every thespian in the cast. (Other than ‘Regarding Henry’, I’ve never been impressed with Mr. Ford’s acting abilities)
Ford plays Dr. Robert Stonehill, the scientist who is currently working on finding a cure for Pompe & the storyline consists entirely of John’s attempts to get him the funding & the resources to make his ‘cure’ come to light before his children bite the dust.
Their partnership is what drives this film from ‘movie of the week’ status to ‘respectable drama’. & then it hits a sour note when Crowley tells Stonehill to ‘imagine how much money he’ll make’ if they sell their company to a competitor, a large corporation with unrestricted financial resources. Stonehill snarls that he doesn’t give a damn about money, to which a now indignant John snaps. “Don’t you talk to me about more important things than money!”
This SHOULD have been an intense powerful scene between two people aiming for the same goal, but having to make concessions in order to achieve their quest – instead, it makes John look like a dick since HE’S the one who brings up money in the first place!
It would be nice if I could start a business where I could help scriptwriters that can’t write dialogue because 1) I think I’m pretty good at it; 2) I can spot a bad exchange a mile away & 3) I need the money!
I will give credit for the phrase ‘acceptable losses’ – it is used well for dramatic effect.
That, & ‘Uncle Bobby’, helped elevate this film to be an ‘acceptable’ drama. But it did take the long way to get there...