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Mercury Rising

131 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Art Jeffries (Bruce Willis), a renegade FBI agent, combats ruthless Federal agents to protect Simon, a nine-year-old autistic boy who has cracked the government's new "unbreakable" code. He can read MERCURY, the most advanced encryption code, as easily as other kids read English. This ability renders the new billion-dollar secret code vulnerable, especially if enemies of the United States should learn of Simon's abilities and capture him. Program Chief Nick Kudrow (Alec Baldwin) orders the "security threat" eliminated, but Kudrow hasn't counted on Jeffries getting involved. As they are trailed by deadly assassins, Jeffries quickly realizes that no one can be trusted. Now time is running out and he discovers his only hope of survival is using Simon's special ability to bring their adversaries to justice.

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Take off your thinking caps and toss 'em in a corner, 'cuz you won't need 'em when you're watching this deliriously dumb thriller from 1997. Bruce Willis stars as a demoted FBI agent who comes to the aid of an autistic boy whose mind holds a potentially deadly secret. It seems that by gazing on a puzzle magazine and making order out of a hidden system of numbers, the 9-year-old autistic boy (Miko Hughes) has accidentally deciphered a sophisticated top-secret government code. This makes him the prime target of the ruthless bureaucrat (Alec Baldwin, in one of his silliest roles), and Willis comes to the rescue. This formulaic thriller sets up this plot with a lot of entertaining urgency, but you can't give any thought to Mercury Rising or the whole movie collapses under the weight of its own illogic and nonsense. The redeeming values are the performances of Willis, young Hughes, and newcomer Kim Dickens as a woman who agrees (perhaps too easily, it seems) to aid Willis in his plot to outmaneuver the bad guys. Mercury Rising is not a waste of time compared to other formulaic thrillers, but its entertainment value depends on how much you enjoy being smarter than the movie. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Miko Hughes, Chi McBride, Kim Dickens
    • Directors: Harold Becker
    • Writers: Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal
    • Producers: Brian Grazer, Karen Kehela
    • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: R (Restricted)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: September 22, 1998
    • Run Time: 112 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: 0783228589
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,345 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Mercury Rising" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By gobirds2 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 3, 2006
    Format: DVD
    This is an action film with a lot of emotion behind it. It has a real heart felt story that questions plausibility and true credibility at times but it really hits home as it evokes genuine sentiment and feeling through a brutal world we now live in. This to date is the last great action film staring Bruce Willis. His performance of the dedicated civil servant doing what is right against all odds is admirable. His adversary Alec Baldwin stands for all that is wrong with a system that is supposed to protect our way of life and liberties while sacrificing the innocent trying to protect it at the enrichment of his own ego. At the center is a small autistic boy who supposedly can compromise Baldwin's plans who is being protected by FBI agent Willis who has fallen from grace. In simplest terms it is a film of right and goodness against greed and evil. On that level this film works. This film contains one of John Barry's last great scores as it gives credence to the story by bringing our most tearfully compassionate emotions to the surface while driving the narrative with an impassioned purpose. I like this film a lot I think because it takes the hardened tough good guy hero image and on an emotional level shows what drives him and what's really makes his heart tick.
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bernhard Arnkwiecz on January 14, 2015
    Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
    Give this Bruce Willis movie a try, and ignore that Rottentomatoes.com gives this film a Big Squashed Tomato (17%). Roger Ebert also was bored by it. Lucky for me I am not a professional (know-it-all) critic. For me, Bruce Willis is totally convincing in his part. The same or even more so for the child actor playing the autistic child.

    Furthermore, the pacing was suspenseful all the way through, except in those moments in which the film must establish that the child, Simon, lives with loving parents, or that Bruce, as the FBI "man-of-action" agent, must slow down to tentatively figure out how to interact with (and protect) the extremely sensitive, reactive Simon. At these moments, NATURALLY there will not be any car chases, crashing planes or other explosions. How about that??!! And while we all know that Bruce will get the bad guys in the end (sorry, was that a spoiler?? :-< ), during most of the movie we see Bruce getting deeper and deeper in a hole, and I, as viewer, had no way of guessing how he was going to get out, even in the last 10 minutes. So that seems pretty suspenseful to me!!

    One more thing, and this is something I seem to find only in Bruce Willis movies and NOT with any other "action hero": Bruce is able to convey moments of touching tenderness (don't miss the last 3 minutes!!), and this has the effect of making the viewer all the more invested in the characters and the outcome of the movie. A dimension beyond far beyond cartoonish, Road Runner-type explosions and mayhem.

    By the way, something else I noticed. Mel Gibson, in his movies, gets socked, beaten down, and goes into his poor-ole-me martyr-shtick. Bruce's action-guy shrugs it off and gets sarcastic. Which do you prefer?
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lydia Diaz on June 10, 2013
    Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
    For Bruce Willis movie lovers, this movie delivers on non-stop action and adventure. Here you see a softer side to him, as he is charged with protecting a little boy with autism. While the boy's actions might have been exaggerated for the benefit of the cameras, it highlights some of the challenges when children with low-functioning autism encounter strangers, new situations, etc. Exaggerations aside, the movie is fast-paced and entertaining, and I enjoyed watching Bruce save the day - again!
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    19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Pamelot on June 20, 2005
    Format: DVD
    As the mother of an autistic child, I was intrigued by this movie when I found it while channel surfing. I choose not to comment on the believability or likeability of the plot, but will say instead that the actor who played Simon, the young autistic boy, did an OUTSTANDING job. The writers, apparently, also did some research on the condition. The use of the cards Simon kept pinned to his belt was right on the money. Autistic children comprehend so much better visually, and through the printed word, than they do through listening to people speak. The scene where Simon is spinning wheels on a toy car is also very realistic. My only other comment is on the irony that, in 1998, before anybody figured out or suggested that mercury causes autism (this is a theory first posed in 1999 and gaining more and more credibility every day),the producers had the foresight to name their movie about an autistic boy "Mercury Rising."
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hui Shen ben Israel on October 18, 2011
    Format: DVD
    MERCURY RISING (a/k/a MERCURY FALLING, 1998, 112 mins.) - Based on the novel Simple Simon by Ryne Douglas Pearson (which is very good, I read it when it came out and this is an excellent adaptation), MERCURY RISING centers on FBI Agent Art Jeffries (Willis), who ends up finding and protecting an 11-year-old autistic boy, Simon (a stunning Miko Hughes, who has continued acting but has since sunk into obscurity).

    Simon has cracked a multi-billion-dollar NSA code, which was leaked into a children's puzzle book just to see if it could be done - and by whom. Soon a single wet team (one assassin) is sent to murder Simon's parents, and the action begins. It's a massive chase scene, with the NSA murdering its own in their murderous pursuit of Simon, and the FBI at its wits' end trying to help.

    Though I was disappointed this film portrayed Simon as 11 instead of the original 16 years old, everyone was super-impressive in this, including the smarmy, hammy Alec Baldwin as the NSA thug-director. This film marks the actual beginning of attempts to teach movie audiences about autistic kids. It must have been a complete laugh for Willis.

    By the time he did this, he had under his belt the first three "Die Hard" films, "Twelve Monkeys", "Last Man Standing", "The Fifth Element" and "The Jackal". Miko Hughes did some intense studying for such a small boy in order to portray autism perfectly. I can't really tell why he's vanished into a sad obscurity, since he's still acting.

    This was way before autism-related films had become as common as they are today - "Rain Man" notwithstanding - and is the only film portraying an autistic child in a major starring role.
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