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"EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES"
(2010) (Brendan Fraser, Harrison Ford) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild Heavy Moderate Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Minor None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Extreme Heavy Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: With the aid of a brilliant but short-fused medical researcher, a man races against time and must deal with various obstacles to bring an experimental drug to market and thus possibly save the lives of his two young kids who are afflicted with a deadly genetic disorder.
PLOT:
John Crowley (BRENDAN FRASER) is a marketing executive at a major pharmaceutical company in Portland that ironically doesn't manufacture a drug that might save the lives of two of his kids. Then again, no cure or even life sustaining drug currently exists for those suffering from Pompe Disease, a form of Muscular Dystrophy that results in eventual loss of muscle control and dangerous enlargement of various body organs. Worse yet, it only afflicts the young, with an expected lifespan of only nine years or so.

Accordingly, John, his wife, Aileen (KERI RUSSELL), and their oldest son, John Jr. (SAM M. HALL) who doesn't have the genetic disease, can only watch as the conditions of 8-year-old Megan (MEREDITH DROEGER) and 6-year-old Patrick (DIEGO VELAZQUEZ) progressively deteriorate. But there's a glimmer of hope in the medical research work being done by Dr. Robert Stonehill (HARRISON FORD) who's been researching the disorder for the past 10 years at the University of Nebraska.

Brilliant but a bit eccentric and possessing a short-fuse and disdain for being interrupted, Robert hasn't returned any of Brendan's calls. When Megan nearly dies from her worsening condition, John drops everything, travels to Nebraska, and convinces Robert to help him. But the two need a lot of money to take the promising drug from concept to marketable product, and thus scramble for venture funding and finally agree to a deal with a larger firm run by Erich Loring (PATRICK BAUCHAU).

Yet, as John clashes with their immediate supervisor, Dr. Kent Webber (JARED HARRIS), and Robert with nearly everyone else, time and a number of bureaucratic obstacles threaten their efforts and thus the lives of John and Aileen's youngest kids.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of anyone in the cast or are interested in the subject matter, it's highly unlikely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For thematic material, language and a mild suggestive moment.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BRENDAN FRASER plays a marketing manager for a major pharmaceutical company who needs the job to pay for the high health care insurance costs for his two sick kids, but is frustrated that he and his wife can't do more for them. When they nearly lose their daughter, he decides to take matters into his own hands, first directly contacting Robert to enlist his research help, and then quitting his job to form a start-up pharmaceutical company with his often surly business partner. He uses profanity, briefly drinks, and does what he must in a desperate bid to race against the clock to save his kids' lives.
  • HARRISON FORD plays a medical research scientist known for his brilliant ideas but social interaction problems while working with others. Prone to angry outbursts, he bristles at any notion that his work isn't perfect, and thus repeatedly jeopardizes John's goal. He uses profanity and drinks some.
  • KERI RUSSELL plays John's wife who's equally concerned about their kids and is nervous about but supportive of John's quest. She uses some profanity
  • MEREDITH DROEGER plays their 8-year-old daughter who's suffering from the genetic disorder, but has a playfully feisty demeanor about herself and her condition.
  • DIEGO VELAZQUEZ plays her 6-year-old brother who also has the disorder but is in worse shape than her.
  • SAM M. HALL plays their older sibling who isn't afflicted with the disorder but worries about their condition.
  • JARED HARRIS plays an executive and scientist at the pharmaceutical company that's purchased John and Robert's smaller firm, and clashes with them over the lack of not following business and research protocol.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this PG-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 11 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. A married couple briefly fools around on a sofa (but nothing explicit).

    A character accidentally cuts his hand and there's some brief blood. Tense family material is present throughout the film, including a scene where a young daughter appears to be dying in ICU (but is okay), while a security guard briefly aims his handgun at a person. There's some brief drinking, and bad attitudes are present.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's a little bit of that from lightning.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some occasional camera movement in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Robert drinks some beer.
  • We see a major beer brand ad on the outside of a bar inside which Robert and then John have beer.
  • We see wine on the table during dinner for Aileen, John and Robert.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • John climbs a short way up the side of building and pounds on a window to get Robert's attention. When he falls the foot or so back to the ground, he ends up cutting his hand. We see some blood on the window, then on his hand inside the building, and then some on papers he wants Robert to sign.
  • When John asks where Robert is going, the latter replies, "I'm gonna go take a crap."
  • Checking in at another office, Robert complains that he needs to pee but can't head to the restroom without a security badge.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Robert is too busy to return any of John's calls and ignores during so when he's off from work.
  • John abruptly leaves a business meeting and doesn't tell them or Aileen where he's headed (he's off for Nebraska to find Robert and ask for his help).
  • Robert has a short fuse and bristles when others question his work or ideas.
  • Asked from a business perspective, others query John and Robert about acceptable patient loss in terms of their future drug being profitable (some viewers will see that as being cold and impersonal).
  • Kent comes off as curt and impersonal when dealing with John, but is doing so strictly from a business approach.
  • Robert clashes with many of the scientists and researchers with whom he's now forced to work.
  • John steals Robert's security clearance badge with the intent of taking some of the experimental product for his kids without permission. When a guard catches him, the man aims his handgun at John, with Robert then arriving and lying that he sent John to retrieve it for him.
  • Robert and John purposefully break company protocol and try to arrange a clinical trial deal with a hospital without letting their bosses know.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • John gets a call from Aileen that Megan is in the hospital, and when he gets there, she's been moved to ICU. They get bad news about her prognosis, and when they're later sitting with her, she flat lines, sending them into a panic and the staff into resuscitation mode. We later see the parents and think that she has died, but they get news that she pulled through.
  • Robert, John and one of their workers race to buy a generator after the power goes out at their lab and precious samples might be ruined (but this is played fairly lightly).
  • John steals Robert's security clearance badge with the intent of taking some of the experimental product for his kids without permission. When a guard catches him, the man aims his handgun at John, with Robert then arriving and lying that he sent John to retrieve it for him.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • John steals Robert's security clearance badge with the intent of taking some of the experimental product for his kids without permission. When a guard catches him, the man aims his handgun at John, with Robert then arriving and lying that he sent John to retrieve it for him.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Sh*tty," "No sh*t," "Bullsh*tting son of a bitch," "This is the sh*ttiest job you'll ever get," "Whip up some business bullsh*t," "This is bullsh*t," "What bullsh*t," "Get your butt in the car," "The hell you talking about?" "Are you totally insane?" "Hell, you can call me Peggy Sue," "Scares the hell out of me," "What the hell is this?" "Why didn't you just give them my balls in a jelly jar?" "Bastards," "Pissed away," "A hell of a lot more," "Jersey" (nickname for a person), "They don't know what the hell they're doing," "I'm gonna go take a crap," "Get the hell out of my lab," "Thanks for saving my ass," "You heartless, bloodless machine" and "Tight-ass."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A few moments of heavily dramatic music play in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 11 "s" words, 9 hells, 4 asses (2 used with "hole"), 3 damns (1 written), 1 crap, 1 S.O.B., 3 uses each of "Jesus" and "Oh my God," 2 of "My God" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes" (and another incomplete one) and "G-damn."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Aileen finds John asleep in a chair and she cuddles in there with him. He states he's still dressed, with her stating that she can help him with that as she starts to undo his tie. We next hear sounds of them fooling around as the day nurse enters their home and is embarrassed to find them on the sofa, making out. When they realize she's there, they stand up (still dressed).
  • A waitress briefly shows a little bit of cleavage.
  • About John signing away some of their control over the company, Robert angrily asks him, "Why didn't you just give them my balls in a jelly jar?"
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The tenuous and worsening condition of Megan and Patrick causes an extreme amount of tense family moments for their parents and sibling.
  • John gets a call from Aileen that Megan is in the hospital, and when he gets there, she's been moved to ICU. They get bad news about her prognosis, and when they're later sitting with her, she flat lines, sending them into a panic and the staff into resuscitation mode. We later see the parents and think that she has died, but they get news that she pulled through.
  • Aileen is upset with John that he went to Nebraska to see Robert without telling her.
  • We hear that Robert has two ex-wives.
  • John and Aileen are informed that Megan might have a year to live and Patrick less than that.
  • John is informed that clinical testing will only be done on infants, meaning his kids might not live to receive the treatment once it hits the market.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Pompe Disease (a form of Muscular Dystrophy).
  • Robert stating that his university gives more money to athletics than his research.
  • John and Aileen having $40,000 worth of medical bills each month.
  • Venture funding for new business start-ups.
  • Robert has a short fuse and bristles when others question his work or ideas.
  • Asked from a business perspective, others query John and Robert about acceptable patient loss in terms of their future drug being profitable (some viewers will see that as being cold and impersonal).
  • The comment that objectivity is key when doing medical research.
  • John needing to make decisions that might not be the nicest, but are for the overall good of the company and the product they're trying to bring to market.
  • The conflict of interest issue with John being an executive on the research team trying to get the medicine for his sick kids.
  • VIOLENCE
  • John climbs a short way up the side of building and pounds on a window to get Robert's attention. When he falls the foot or so back to the ground, he ends up cutting his hand. We see some blood on the window, then on his hand inside the building, and then some on papers he wants Robert to sign.



  • Reviewed January 19, 2010 / Posted January 22, 2010

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