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Mercury Rising (1998)

1st January 2000

A nine year old autistic boy has just cracked the governments new unbreakable code rendering the new billion dollar system vulnerable, especially if America's enemies should learn of the young child's abilities. Program chief Nick Kudrow orders the threat to be eliminated, but he hadn't banked on renegade FBI agent Art Jeffries.
Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Miko Hughes, Chi McBride, Kim Dickens
1 Hour 47 Minutes

Simon is a nine year old autistic boy with a devoted set of parents who try so hard to help him. When given a new puzzle book he soon sets to work and solves a puzzle which causes problems in the NSA. The government department had placed a top secret code in a puzzle book in an attempt to test the encryption and had not expected it to be solved. Simon has just cracked their new billion dollar encryption system.

Determined to cover up the blunder, and any possible use of the boy by foreign forces, department head Nick Kudrow sanctions the destruction of the threat to national security. When the NSA hit squad bungles the assassination attempt, FBI agent Art Jeffries is called to investigate the suspicious circumstances. As the NSA repeatedly attempt to kill Simon, Art desperately attempts to communicate with Simon to discover the real reasons behind all the attempts on his life.

The picture is sharp and bright and the night scenes are outstanding with brilliant lighting and pitch black darkness. It has an impressive high bit-rate throughout and there are no signs of artifacting or outlining. The sound is equally impressive with plenty of explosions and use of the surround channels, mainly by the faithful helicopter.

Although there is plenty of action in the film with plenty of chases and a great fight scene on a train, there is still something lacking in the script. I also felt that Alec Baldwin was not the right person to play the bad guy and his acting wasn't really that convincing.

Although Willis is at his best as an 'on the edge' FBI agent, this is another another film which Bruce is outshone by a child. Although Miko Hughes doesn't really say much, he portrays the autistic child brilliantly. You only have to watch the interview with him to see that he is yet another precocious young actor.

The extras are also commendable with an interesting and informative 'making of' documentary plus interviews with the cast. All in all an excellent picture and sound package with a decent set of extras. It is just a pity that the film lacks that cutting edge.

  • Commentary by Director Harold Becker
  • 'Making of' Documentary
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Production Photographs
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers' Notes
  • Deleted Scenes
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