Sunday, 28 February 2010
REVIEW: Extraordinary Measures
Ah the cancer kid movie, how well we love them. They allow us to exorcise our guilt about being all healthy in a privileged western world because if we truly empathize with a hypothetical version of those who suffer for two hours, then damn isn't our luck redeemed. But uninformed psycho-analysis aside, I have very little affection for the entire concept of the weepie. Its particular brand of sickly saccharine emotional patronization leaves me cold. Yet this was the first prominent Harrison Ford release in a long time ( Because Indiana Jones And The Crystal Skull DID NOT HAPPEN) and of course there's Brendan Fraser, otherwise known as B fRaze.
The plot follows B fRaze as he tries to find a cure for his two kids, who have a rare muscular disorder through the genius of the curmudgeonly scientist Harrison Ford and the wonders of capitalism. Thankfully the film focuses more on the slightly hostile working relationship of Ford and B fRaze rather then excessive and exploitative scenes of kiddie suffering. Which is usually the kind of thing a movie like this will do, so fair play to it for that. Ford plays what perhaps his most recurring role, the asshole with a heart of gold. He does it well and his grumbling and complaining comes across almost as much more kiddie-friendly version of Dr House. I wish he was as funny though. B fRaze does surprisingly well. He has been good in the past, Gods and Monsters and The Quiet American spring to mind, but he is certainly bad more times then he is good. He handles the corporate aspect well, and I bought him as the business man. Perhaps some of the more sentimental scenes he struggled in, but B fRaze was good value here. The problem is this felt like a TV movie more then any film that I've seen in the cinema for a long time, and I should imagine it only made the multiplexes on the back of Ford's clout. It looked perhaps cheaper then it should have been, and the structure felt horribly like a lifetime movie of the week. Two respected actors (although given this new monicker for Fraser, which I shall use until I die, he doesn't earn that much respect.) can only make so much difference to something so entirely run of the mill.
Avoid unless you have a craving for mediocrity. I'll leave it to B fRaze to clap us out.