Less than extraordinary

Despite the studio’s efforts to equate it with “The Blind Side,” “Extraordinary Measures” is not nearly as good. The based-in-truth story of John Crowley, who risks everything to find a cure for his children’s debilitating disease, “Extraordinary Measures” is a decent film with good intentions that succeeds at being a tearjerker and fails at inspiring anyone.

Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell (light years away from her “Felicity” persona) are the parents desperate to find a cure for Pompe disease, a neuromuscular disorder that threatens the lives of two of their children. Fraser partners with Harrison Ford’s curmudgeonly biochemist in order to produce a viable cure. That’s the extent of the plot, one that unfortunately doesn’t rise above the level of a Lifetime original movie.

The performances are fine, if a little cloying: Ford yells, Fraser frets and Russell offers varied advice. Only one actor– Diego Velázquez, playing the Pompe-afflicted Patrick– delivers a natural, empathetic performance.

It’s hard to create cinematic drama from talk of enzymes and corporate mergers, and “Extraordinary Measures” never rises above its subject matter. The Crowleys’ story deserves to be told, but not in the manner of a cheap cable movie.

Rating: 1.5/4 stars
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Harrison Ford, Keri Russell
Directed By: Tom Vaughan
MPAA Rating: PG

Sarah B. Pilchick may be contacted at sbpilchick@themiamihurricane.com.