Saturday, January 23, 2010

'Extraordinary Measures' - enjoyable actors save this made for TV movie

Extraordinary Measures is not going to do well in the theaters. Not that it doesn’t try, but there was only me and two other people in the entire theater and that was a Friday Night!! I can honestly say that marketing was not where it should have been for this movie. It was actually better than I expected due mainly in part to the leads, Brandon Fraser and Harrison Ford. I couldn’t shake the feeling that this movie could just as well be on lifetime or some cable network, but I still liked it, despite how uninspiring it was.

The film follows a father (Fraser) of two children with a fatal disease that cajoles a cankerous university research doctor (Ford) into pursuing his theories into finding a cure for the disease. Now, from this description I have pretty much told you the entire movie, and I can bet most of you know exactly what happens in the movie and how it all ends. And you would be right. There is nothing special here, slick production, good lighting, quick pacing, OK dialog…but that merely makes this movie average.

What saves the film is the cast. Harrison Ford is far from charming as a dis-likable business partner. Think more ‘What Lied Beneath’ than ‘Indiana Jones’. Fraser does a good turn as a doughy executive and leaves his action persona and yelling from his action flicks to actually portray a desperate, yet very flawed friend. What really save the film are the secondary characters. I don’t know if the kids that were cast do indeed have some disease, but kudos to their very believable portrayal, quick dialog and enduring rough edges. Keri Russell as the wife and especially Courtney Vance as a father of some likewise sick kids does wonders with the five lines he was given in the film.

The film comes complete with trite music (really, have you no imagination), basic conversations and very predictable plot…yet there was nothing that actually bothered me about this movie. Usually, there is something about a film that really gets to me and distracts me from the experience I am having in the theater, but here, everything seems to work despite how boring it is. It will try to manipulate you to cry, though not nearly as shamelessly as well as ‘My Sisters Keeper’. It will also expect you to take everything for fact since it was based on a true story, but despite all its flaws, I actually enjoyed the movie, even if I should have been watching it at night on TV.

Final Consensus:
See it now!!!!
See it in theaters!!!
Rent it on DVD/BluRay!!
Wait for it on TV!
Don’t Bother.

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