Based on the true story of one father's race against time to save his children from a fatal form of muscular dystrophy, Extraordinary Measures grabs you from the moment it hits the screen. The story is inspiring, leaving you with a sense of sympathetic awe for the family and their struggle for pure survival.
This is my first real critique of a dramatic film so please bare with me.
Extraordinary Measures is a character-driven film with strong performances from Keri Russell, Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford. Fraser was a pleasant surprise, seeing as I haven't seen him in several years, pleasantly straying from his iconic goofy character and playing the role of "˜dad' perfectly.
Harrison Ford, in contrast, falls flat. We see the same character that we saw in Air Force One and the latest "˜Indiana Jones' film, resulting in a slightly disappointing performance from such a legend of the screen. With his talent and potential I long to witness something new from the aging actor; however, he fails to materialize in this role, a prime opportunity to show us the depth of his talent.
Keri Russell, who has also been a bit limited in terms of big-screen roles, was well cast in her role as Aileen Crowley, Fraiser's on-screen wife. The 'Felicity' star has proven her talent in such films as August Rush and The Waitress, and it was great to see her again in a genre that she does so well. However, Russell wasn't the only female to cause a stir as the real breakout actress came in the form of Meredith Droeger who plays the oldest daughter, Megan, who suffers from Pompe, the disease that is at the heart of this film. Her performance is what pushes and drives this movie.
As far as direction, the movie was OK. There wasn't anything really spectacular about director Tom Vaughn's style, though the story doesn't rely heavily on its stylistic presentation. He has some good ideas, but with different, inadequate actors it could have backfired on him. The director uses of close-ups on the eyes to convey the intensity that the characters are going through. In some places it hits (Brendan Fraser and Meredith Droeger), and in others it misses (Harrison Ford).
Overall, I think Extraordinary Measures was a good movie. It isn't an "˜A' worthy film, but it was still good and would serve as a great date-night film. It's heartwarming story hopefully will make you reflect on your own life and be thankful for what you have.