You know when you go see Extraordinary Measures that you're not going to watch an Avatar. It doesn't have any big explosions or blue-skinned aliens, and it's a far cry from the adventuring days of Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and Brendan Fraser in The Mummy, but what it does have is heart.
It's a sweet, engaging movie that makes you feel-good, even though the subject matter may not be so cheerful. But I'm always a sucker for dying kids to pull on my heart strings, so this tale about the father of two children with a rare genetic disorder, who does everything he can to keep them alive beyond their short expected lifespan does bring a tear to the eye at times.
Brendan Fraser is highly watchable as the loving father who sacrifices everything to find a life-saving treatment for his young kids (even though he's piled on the pounds since his George of the Jungle days, I've always liked him as an actor since his great performance in Gods and Monsters opposite Ian McKellen).
Harrison Ford isn't the most likable character as the crotchety scientist with a possible cure, but after all this really isn't his story.
The movie isn't any great work of art or cinematic masterpiece, but it has a story and characters that draw you in and make you want to learn the fate of the family. Based on a true story, I always wonder how real the details and also how embellished the circumstances are.
It's really not a movie you need to go see at the cinema, but if you want to see a film about ordinary people triumphing over adversity, emotion overcoming corporate greed and hope defeating disease, all wrapped up with a happily ever after, Extraordinary Measures is for you.
I give the movie a watchable three *** stars. It's not overly taxing, it's a bit sentimental and may make you shed a tear, but sometimes it's nice to watch something heart-warming for a change.
Go see it with someone you love and don't be afraid to cry...