Extraordinary Measures Review: Kill Me Now

EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES (PG): On General Release From Friday 26th February 2010

I didn’t have high hopes when I walked into the screening for Brendan Fraser’s latest offering. It looked like one of those movies that once you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen pretty much the whole movie.

And I was right. It was dull, manipulative and felt like your average FIVE weekend matinée or what the Americans call an ‘after-school special’.

John Crowley (Fraser) is a high earning businessman of some sort who has two children with Pompe disease – a rare genetic illness that gives them a lifespan of just nine years. But he resolves to raise enough money to support Pompe research done by crotchety old Dr. Stonehill (Harrison Ford). But can he do it before his children run out of time?

I won’t spoil it but it’s so damn obvious what happens you should save your money, or better yet, go and rent Lorenzo’s Oil (same story, better movie).

When a film has a plot that is rooted in science, we need to be presented with characters that are well-developed, because at the end of the day, we don’t care about the science. We need to care about the people in order to care about the story and unfortunately that’s where Extraordinary Measures falls flat on it’s face.

Fraser is perfectly adequate as the dad on a mission with some tear-jerking moments, but for the most part his character is just plain boring. Ford gives a one-note performance as someone who is essentially Doctor Scrooge; he’s ill-tempered, impatient and unnecessarily rude to everyone. Playing Crowley’s wife is Keri Russell in a part that feels like it was penned as an afterthought by screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs.

The pacing is all over the place and moments that should be fraught with tension are just exhausting to watch as they play out too long and don’t give the pay off that they should. That coupled with the lack of character development means it will be boredom rather than emotion that has you in tears.

It’s schmaltzy, predictable and you can do a lot better.


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