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Review: Extraordinary Measures

The business of who lives and who dies
By TOM MEEK  |  January 27, 2010
2.5 2.5 Stars

Most parents would go to great lengths to save a child in peril, but would they find a cure for a terminal disease? If that sounds implausible, or like Hollywood schmaltz, you should note that Tom Vaughan's against-all-odds heartstring puller stems from the real-life story chronicled in The Cure by former Boston Globe reporter Geeta Anand.

The man racing the clock, John Crowley (Brendan Fraser), has two children afflicted with crippling, fatal Pompe disease. He struggles to pay 40K a month in medical bills but never gives up hope — which ultimately arrives in the form of a cantankerous scientist with a yen for classic rock (Harrison Ford).

Together they start their own pharmaceutical company, get bought out (by Genzyme of Cambridge in the real tale), and wind up battling corporate bureaucracy. Vaughan's effort isn't quite as composed as it should be, but the emotional current and tart commentary on the business of who lives and who dies is stirring.

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