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
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 advanced encryption code, as easily as other kids read English. This skill 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.