‘Extraordinary Measures’
Director: Tom Vaughan
Stars: Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser, Keri Russell
Rating: PG
Grade: ?????

 

Considering the nature of its material, “Extraordinary Measures” never really had a chance of being great. In fact, when your based-on-a-true-story film deals with a likely terminal (and definitely horrifically debilitating) disease in children, it’s probably safe to consider anything less than an exploitative sobfest a success.

 

By this standard, “Extraordinary Measures” isn’t bad. Harrison Ford, looking fairly comfortable sans sex appeal, is convincing as a heady, antisocial researcher with a groundbreaking treatment for Pompe disease. And if there’s one guy who you’d want to help save his sick kids, it’s Brendan Fraser, whose childlike innocence — which came in handy for everything from “Encino Man” to “Scrubs” — finally goes beyond simply goofy here, lending him the credibility to pursue a long-shot treatment for an incurable disease in the incurably diseased pharmaceutical industry.

 

But like all dying children movies, no matter how it ends or how it gets there, there’s something ultimately cheap and uncomfortable about the devices — namely, the dying children — “Extraordinary Measures” inherently depends on.