"It has a well-traveled, familiar arc but with top notch performances."

The film stars Brendan Fraser as the crusading dad and Harrison Ford as a curmudgeonly scientist developing a cure for the rare Pompe disease. Here is an inspiring and engaging drama about the power of perseverance, a quality which seems to be in short supply in our hurried society. It consists of a quiet and enduring patience which is able to see the big picture and wait instead of giving up.

From the opening scenes of Extraordinary Measures, it's clear that John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) is the father of small kids with really big issues. Harrison Ford is garnering notices for his performance, though not the kind of attention an actor wants; his bark-like delivery of the line “I already work around the clock!” has become a viral sensation on the Internet and a paragon of overacting. Fraser, meanwhile, known for comedies and light action films, is taking on a rare dramatic role by playing the crusading dad. It’s easy enough to get caught up in Crowley’s race against the clock, but the presentation leans heavily on emotional manipulation and a tear-wringing score. Fraser has little to do but look angst and determined; Keri Russell, as his wife, is only an afterthought.

The plotting is a tad predictable but the bond between the men is interesting. It has a well-traveled, familiar arc but with top notch performances. The drama created by Stonehill’s behaviour ruffles our feathers but from the opening frames we know that he will be changed somehow by the end of the film.

The team behind Extraordinary Measures may have had good intentions when they began, but the end result just doesn't seem to have been worth the effort. It may tug on your heartstrings in some scenes, but the rest will seem forced and stale. I left the film dry-eyed. Its story is interesting and engaging, but not as gripping and engrossing as it should have been.