Extraordinary Measures

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +4

Content: -1

Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell. Written by Robert Nelson Jacobs (The Water Horse, Chocolat). Inspired by the book ďThe CureĒ by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Geeta Anand. Directed by Tom Vaughan (Starter for 10, What Happens in Vegas).

FILM SYNOPSIS: The film is inspired by the true story of John Crowley, who defied conventional wisdom and great odds to pursue a cure for his children's life-threatening illness.† This is a remarkable story of overcoming adversity and insurmountable odds and is a testament to the tremendous lengths parents will go for their children, and serves as a rousing reminder of the importance of faith, personal courage and the ability to be a hero that lies within all of us.

From his working class roots, John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) has finally begun to taste success in corporate America.† Supported by his beautiful wife, Aileen (Keri Russell) and their three children, John is on the fast track.† But just as his career is taking off, Crowley walks away from it all when his two youngest children, Megan and Patrick, are diagnosed with a fatal disease. With Aileen by his side, harnessing all of his skill and determination, Crowley teams up with a brilliant but unappreciated and unconventional scientist, Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford).†††Together they form a biotech company focused on developing a life-saving drug.†††One driven to prove himself and his theories, the other by a chance to save his children, this unlikely alliance eventually develops into mutual respect as they battle the medical and business establishments in a fight against the system Ė and time.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I liked Extraordinary Measures for several reasons. While it deals with one of the muscular dystrophy diseases, moving us and testing us, it doesnít depress us. The characters are fighters and their energy unites and uplifts us as an audience. And by filmís end, we are encouraged. The film also reinforces the importance of love and life, maintaining that money is best when used to aid others. And the film contains one of the most moving visual moments Iíve seen since Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) looked up at her gallant husband, Victor Lazlo (Paul Henreid) with an expression that bordered on worship as he led the band playing the French national anthem in Casablanca. The film presents a positive portrayal of a family, including touching incidents where both children and adults make loving sacrifices.

The moment here comes after an eight-year-old girl has just survived an attack from her cursed disease. She is lying in her hospital bed, her adoring father stroking her hair. Nothing is being said Ė verbally. The movie magic rests in the actorsí eyes as the camera close-ups on the faces of both father and daughter. As extraordinary as that scene is for a fatherless man, I can only imagine how it affects a parent. That moment alone for me makes the film worth attending.

Sadly, thereís no indication in the film that the lead characters ever turn to God for help or strength. And every time Harrison Ford gets mad, and he gets mad a lot, he curses, and misuses Christís name. Mr. Ford is just one of nearly every screen performer who finds it difficult to express fear or anger without shouting the Lordís name.

To the majority of the Hollywood community, as evidenced by the viewing of 200 movies a year for the past 22 years, the name of the Savior of the World has no more meaning than an expletive for relieving frustration. When you think of it, why do people use the name of the one sinless man whenever they are moved to wrath?

Jesusí name is taken in vain four or five times and Godís name is followed by a curse at least once in Extraordinary Measures. While that may not seem an excessive amount, try uttering the N-word just once in a film without it serving to indicate prejudice and ignorance, or casually using a discriminatory epithet to describe a Jew. That disrespect would be met, justifiably, with outrage. But somehow, we all accept the profane use of Godís name or His Sonís for the sake of entertainment. Why is that?

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
CBS Films

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Around ten obscenities, mostly the s-word and a few minor expletives Ė damns and hells.

Profanity: Godís name is followed by a curse one time by the Harrison Ford character; he also takes Christís name in vein four or five times; variations of the expression ďoh my GodĒ are uttered three or more times.

Violence: Mr. Fordís character is childish in his ability to relate to others and he often and easily loses his temper, which manifests in verbal tirades. Blood: A man cuts his hand, there is some blood.

Sex: PG-rated frolicking between a man and wife before they are suddenly interrupted.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Beer drinking in a bar a couple of times.

Other: Children are portrayed suffering from a deadly disease; one minor character dies from the disease, affecting the other characters.

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Above

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