and determination push idealistic father John Crowley into
joining forces with reclusive medical research Dr. Robert
Stonehill. Together this unlikely pair face impossible odds
as they battle the entire medical establishment and time itself
to find a cure before it's too late.
The movie opens with the line “Inspired by true events”, and that caught our attention immediately. Movies which are inspiration of what happened in real life often have an edge over other formulated Hollywood movies because they manage to touch us in someway or other because, well, they are based on what happened around you and me. So it is with great anticipation that we watched this movie, which was never released in cinemas here.
Brendan Fraser (Inkheart, The Mummy series) and Kerri Russell (Bedtime Stories, August Rush) play a couple with not one, but two children a genetic anomaly that kills before he or she becomes 10 years old. The father contacts a fiery researcher played by Harrison Ford (The Indiana Jones series, Firewall) who has a theory that could save his two children. Funds are raised for the research, ethics come into play, and profit motives become obstacles to the much hoped for miracle to save the two sickly children.
Source of inspiration aside, the first thing that struck us is: Richard O’ Connell (Fraser) gives up tomb raiding and goes head on with Indiana Jones (Ford)? Quite an interesting combination, we thought. The duo delivers competent performances as the determined father and the steadfast researcher who each has his own objectives to meet at the end of the day. Russell fits in nicely in the background as the committed wife. But as expected, the stars who shine in this family drama are the kids. Meredith Droeger and Diego Velazquez play the two infected children with conviction, and their compelling acting may have you shedding a tear or two.
Now we come back to what we talked about earlier: The movie is based on Geeta Anand’s book The Cure. Despite the poignant topic which has potential to spin off a lot of academic discussions, the 105 minute movie fails to fully explore the tension between scientific research and humanity. The result is a predictable drama which is ultimately becomes another disposable production. The movie was a huge box office disappointment when it opened in the US, remaining in theatres for only four weeks. That is probably one reason why local distributors didn’t pick it up for cinema release here in Singapore.
There are sentimental and thriller elements in the movie, but none of them never managed to engage audiences fully. Unfortunately, there truly is a lot of themes to be portrayed in this movie, especially given its heavyweight cast and decent production values. The extraordinary measures taken by the characters to make a miracle were probably better felt within the pages of the book which this movie was inspired by.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains a five minute featurette Meet John Crowley where we hear the real John Crowley (played by Fraser in the movie) talk about his children’s misfortune – a truly moving watch, especially with video footages of his sick children. The 11 minute Extraordinary Measures: The Power to Overcome is a behind the scenes look where the cast and crew talk about producing the movie. Trailers of other Sony releases like Julie & Julia and The Back-Up Plan round up the special features section of the DVD.
The movie’s visual transfer is fine, and you can watch it in either English, Thai, Spanish or Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1.
by John Li
Posted on 29 May 2010