Han Solo as a experimental research scientist? In Extraordinary Measures, which opens wide tomorrow, Harrison Ford plays Dr. Robert Stonehill, a medical researcher seeking a cure for a life-threatening muscular disease. Though the film is inspired by the true story of John Crowley (played by Brendan Fraser) and his family, Stonehill is a composite of several doctors. As portrayed by Ford, the good doctor is strong-willed, hard-working, and ultimately heroic. Han Solo's cheeky bravado occasionally shines through in Ford's defiant countenance, though the sullen, oft-irritated facade of Rick Deckard (Blade Runner) is more often on view in Dr. Stonehill's bearing.
Not all experiments have happy endings, of course, and not all research scientists are heroic, especially in science fiction movies. When researchers on the cutting edge of science make mistakes, the results can be catastrophic. Here are the top ten sci-fi experiments gone wrong -- the movie edition.
1. The Fly (1986)
Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) has made incredible strides toward a working teleportation system, which could be the invention of the century. But it's not until after he meets Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) that he dares to experiment with a living creature: first a baboon, then himself. If only he had noticed the tiny winged insect in one of the experimental pods ... David Cronenberg's version of the Vincent Price-starring shocker is a character-driven thriller that feels like it's teleported into your nervous system. "Be afraid. Be very afraid."