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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.
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
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The Jackal is the better of the 2 and is an updated remake of the 1971 Anglo-French classic "Day of the Jackal" based on the novel by legendary writer Frederick Forsyth. Bruce Willis plays an assassin with no name who is hired to kill someone important in the US after a drug raid in Russia, involving a senior FBI agent (played by Sydney Poitier) that results in the death of the younger brother of a Russian drug lord. The FBI brings in Dermot Mulqueen (played by Richard Gere) who is the one of the only living people who actually knows what The Jackal looks like. Just like the original, this is a taut, well-written thriller that will keep you on edge to the final gunshot.
The blu-ray transfer is excellent. There are no frills, but the movie is still worth getting. even Mercury Rising is worth watching.
There are two discs, one for each movie. This, in fact, a two-disc repackaging of the two movies from their original separate packaging.
The film starts out with Art (Bruce) as an undercover FBI agent inside a bank trying to negotiate with the criminals. He was close to getting the entire bank free of harms way, but when the place is stormed and there is bloodshed Art totally loses his cool and clocks the guy in charge. So much for diplomacy.
After being demoted, Art is put in charge of investigating the mysterious disappearance of Simon Lynch (played the Miko Hughes, the smartass from "Full House.") Simon is a child with severe emotional problems who is incapable of articulating himself in a coherent way, yet he was able to crack the government's top-secret "mercury" national security code. Go figure.
One of my favorite parts has gotta be when Art shows up at Kudrow's (Alec Baldwin) birthday party, unexpectedly. That's what I loved the most about the character that Bruce plays. He did what we all wanted to do and he never blinked once. He just had so much nerve and gall and only had 1 mission on his mind. I thought it was hysterical when Alec Baldwin told him "please don't touch the wine bottles" and it was even funnier when he'd open them up and swig a sip, saying "you don't care about a 9 year-old boy but you care about your f'n wine bottles."
I enjoyed this movie very much because it's not just a typical Bruce Willis movie. It's somewhat sad, yet it's also uplifting and in this movie we get to see another facet of Bruce, his softer and sensitive side which rarely comes out in any of his other projects. He played the role perfectly because like a ship he was both steady and strong and rough.
The plot ties up with Bruce's signature action-filled, theatrical 3-ring circus. If you enjoyed any of the "Die Hard" movies or even "16 Blocks" you will most assuredly like the pace and the excitement of "Mercury Rising."
As for The Jackal, it is still quite nice, with firm direction, but with a feeling of "déja vu" in it. If one can pass through the estereotypes calmly, it is very entertaining.