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A Portland couple have two children with Pompe disease, a genetic anomaly that kills most before a child's tenth birthday. The husband, John, an advertising executive, contacts Robert Stonehill, a researcher in Nebraska who has done innovative research for an enzyme treatment. He has little money to fund his laboratory, and a thorny personality that drives away colleagues and funders. John and his wife Aileen raise money to help Stonehill's research and the required clinical trials. John takes on the task full time, working with venture capitalists and then rival teams of researchers. Time is running short, Stonehill's angry outburst hinder the company's faith in him, and the profit motive may upend John's hopes. The researchers race against time for the children who have the disease. Written by
Hollywood's formulaic and generic version of real life
"Extraordinary Measures" is one of those "feel-good", "inspirational" films which is actually feel-good and inspirational but in a very generic kind-of-way.
Brendan Fraser awkwardly stars as a businessman who desperately hopes that "they" will find a cure for Pompe disease, which two of his children are dying from. As you would expect, he stays up late researching trying to find the latest advances. This teams him up with Harrison Ford, an unpersonable scientist, who also provides the few comic relief moments.
Based on a true story, but in such a way that although the overall story may come from real life, all the events shown are surely fictional. It's dramatic when we need it to be and things work out when we need them to - way too formulaic and tidy for real life. They tell us some of the science behind the cure, which is of course nonsense, but it's supposed to get the audience more invested in what's happening; however, it's just a reminder that this is Hollywood not real life.
Let me go back to the beginning, "Extraordinary Measures" is feel-good and inspirational, and if you like those types of movies, this one plays out exactly as it's supposed to. You'll get swept up into the story and cry when you're supposed to. Everything is right on cue.
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