Real-Life Heroics on Display in
• Christian Hamaker, Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
• Friday, January 22, 2010
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DVD Release Date: May 18, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: January 22, 2010
Rating: PG (for thematic material, language and a mild suggestive moment)
Run Time: 105 min.
Director: Tom Vaughan
Actors: Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser, Keri Russell, Meredith Droeger, Diego Velazquez, Jared Harris, Courtney B. Vance, Patrick Bauchau
In Extraordinary Measures, a medical drama about a race to develop a life-saving drug, Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford) conducts lab research while blasting Classic Rock. It's Led Zeppelin and The Band, turned up to top volume—music that's several decades old but still projects energy. A crabby perfectionist, Stonehill doesn't care that the blaring music upsets his fellow doctors. It's what keeps him moving toward his professional goals.
By the end of the film, the Classic Rock has been replaced by Eric Clapton's "Change the World," one of the artist's big Adult Contemporary hits of the 1990s that helped redefine the guitar king as an Adult Contemporary soft-rocker.
The trajectory of Extraordinary Measures is similar: It has moments of deeply felt passion before settling into a predictable, comfortable groove. It's never exciting; those looking for a move that rocks should look elsewhere. But like the Clapton song that ends the film, Extraordinary Measures is comforting and even a little bit inspirational—a soft-rock movie for people who have mellowed as they've grown older.
The plot isn't anything we haven't seen before and the outcome is never in doubt—the film is inspired by a true story—but Extraordinary Measures is helped immensely by an affecting lead performance from Brendan Fraser as John Crowley, and by the inclusion of faith elements (however briefly mentioned)...