Under Review: ‘Extraordinary Measures’


“Extraordinary Measures” is a fairly typical tearjerker. It tells a remarkable story, but unfortunately that isn’t enough to make it a remarkable film.

Based on a true story, the film follows John and Aileen Crowley (Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell), the parents of two children who have Pompe disease. The rare genetic disorder confines the children to wheelchairs and respirators and causes progressive muscle weakness. The children are not expected to live past 9 years old, and the Crowleys are desperate find a cure.

John researches the disease tirelessly until he comes across the work of Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford), a Nebraska-based doctor who has found a possible cure for the disease in theory but does not have the funds to test it.

Determined to make Dr. Stonehill’s theories a reality, John and Aileen begin raising the money to fund his research, and John quits his job to form a biotechnology company with Stonehill. Together they work to save John’s own children and offer other families affected by Pompe disease hope for a brighter future.

“Extraordinary Measures” is essentially a made-for-TV movie with a bigger budget and bigger names. The story is very moving and inspiring, but it isn’t enough to carry the film.

The directing and writing are decent, but nothing special. Ford, Fraser and Russell all give solid performances, though Ford and Fraser have a tendency to overact at times.

There is nothing inherently bad about the film, but it just feels a bit bland. It seems like a much more appropriate fit for the Hallmark Channel than the big screen.

But despite the film’s flaws, the story is truly inspiring. Audiences will no doubt be moved by the story of a father’s fight for his children’s lives. The true story behind “Extraordinary Measures” makes it worth watching, but overall the film is far from extraordinary.

— Click here to see two clips from ‘Extraordinary Measures’ —

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2 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Mariusz Zubrowski #

    Brendan Fraser looked like his costumes were two sizes too small throughout the entire movie and Harrison Ford seemed equally miserable.

  2. Dani #

    From the commercials, it looks like it is a “movie of the week” type movie.