Extraordinary Measures is a moving story about family and a father’s perseverance to find a cure for his children. John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) seeks out the help of an irritable medical researcher (Harrison Ford) whose theory cannot be fully developed without extensive funding. As the time ticks away, so does the probability of finding a cure. This film requires an emotional investment and audiences will be surprised at how invested they become.
Coming from emotionally charged source material, the filmmaker (Tom Vaughn) was given the difficult task of conveying personal emotion to a mass audience. Too often stories similar to this are made into low budget made for TV films which are downtrodden for their ineptitude. It is difficult for audiences to shed that stigma from the marketing of this film. However, on a positive note, Extraordinary Measures is executed quite well. The momentum of the film is driven from the story and less on aesthetics. The shot selection, editing and score of the film are all pedestrian at best. However, there is something to be said for a film that has an arbitrary execution and still manages to maintain the audience’s attention.
The performances are serviceable with the significant character arc going to Harrison Ford. At this point of his career, he seems to be entering the twilight years which limits his range. Future performances will inevitably be bogged down by this crotchety persona. However, with this role it works well and audiences will be pleased with his development. Brendan Fraser also delivers an uncommonly solid performance as well.
At the end of the day, there are plenty of stories worth garnering public attention. Few are able to achieve this level of exposure within this medium and this film accomplishes its goal; that is to entertain and educate its audience. It is refreshing when a film exceeds all expectations and Extraordinary Measures does so easily.
Extraordinary Measures is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer is clean with no grain or pixilation. The colors look dark and rich. The quality of image is strong with very few problems. The picture is not mind-blowing, but it is ultimately serviceable.
The 5.1 Dolby Surround sound is a fairly basic mix. The immersion is almost non-existent with the exception of a carnival scene that provides the full experience. The score and dialogue are all clear, as a viewer you cannot ask for much more than that.
Deleted Scenes: All of them vary in length. Most of the scenes do not flesh out much character development and cutting them was appropriate.
Meet John Crowley: A brief look at the actual John Crowley and his family. It is a nice addition to see who inspired the book and film.
Extraordinary Measures: The Power to Overcome: A typical behind the scenes featurette with cast and crew interviews and production team etc…
In all honesty, I was a skeptic prior to watching the film. However, Extraordinary Measures engages you and will maintain your attention. It is well worth a watch and believe me, you’ll be surprised at how invested you become, I know I was.